Zii Jia believes he can only get better after semi-final loss to China’s Yuqi

Fret not: Lee Zii Jia reacts during his semi-final match against China’s Shi Yuqi. — AP

PETALING JAYA: Not all is lost for Lee Zii Jia after crashing out in the semi-finals of the All-England.

Zii Jia went down 19-21, 13-21 to Shi Yuqi of China in a men’s singles battle between two former winners at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham yesterday but the world No. 4 Malaysian intends to walk tall.

Yuqi defeated Lin Dan of China to win the 2018 edition while Zii Jia upstaged Viktor Axelsen of Denmark for the 2021 title.

“My performance here has made me believe again in myself,” admitted the 24-year-old Zii Jia in a post-match interview with the Badminton World Federation yesterday.

“I have had such a tough start this season, and I actually doubted if I could ever come back.

“I think I have proven myself in this tournament.

“Yes, it may be just a semi-final, but I’ll take it step by step, and I can only get better.”

The semis in the All-England is Zii Jia’s best result this year after losing in the early rounds of the Malaysian Open, Indian Open, Indonesian Masters and German Open.

Zia Jia however, wished he had gone further in Birmingham.

“I’m a little disappointed for not making it to the final,” he said.

“Yuqi played a very good game and strategy-wise, he had prepared well.

The 27-year-old Yuqi drew strength from his vast experience which proved decisive but Zii Jia did give a good fight.

It was a close affair from the start with a commanding Zii Jia narrowly leading 11-10 and 16-14 but Yuqi stayed calm at 19-19 and took the next two points to close the game.

The Chinese led from the start in the second and controlled the game to wrap up the match despite Zii Jia’s good fightback.

Yuqi will take on either compatriot Li Shifeng or Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in the final today.

Meanwhile, old-timers Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia were outstanding as they played brilliantly to beat Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang of China 21-15, 19-21, 29-27 to reach yet another men’s doubles final.

They will play the winners of the match between teammates Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto and He Jiting-Zhou Haodong of China.



Men’s singles: Lee Zii Jia (Mas) bt Kodai Naraoka (Jpn) 21-9, 10-21, 21-13; Shi Yuqi (Chn) bt Weng Hongyang (Chn) 21-9, 21-16; Anders Antonsen (Den) bt Anthony Ginting (Ina) 21-14, 9-21, 21-17; Li Shifeng (Chn) bt Ng Tze Yong (Mas) 21-11, 21-11.

Men’s doubles: Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang (Chn) bt Leo Rolly-Daniel Marthin (Ina) 13-21, 21-19, 21-18; Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto (Ina) bt Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana (Ina) 21-18, 21-13; He Jiting-Zhou Haodong (Chn) bt Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn) 17-21, 21-18, 21-15; Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi (Chn) 16-21, 21-19, 21-19.

Women’s singles: Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) bt Wang Zhiyi (Chn) 21-19, 21-12; An Se-young w.o. Carolina Marin (Spa); Chen Yufei (Chn) bt Gregoria Mariska (Ina) 24-22, 23-21; Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe) bt He Bingjiao (Chn) 21-12, 21-11.

Women’s doubles: Tresa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand (Ind) bt Li Wenmei-Liu Xuanxuan (Chn) 21-14, 18-21, 21-12; Baek Ha-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) bt Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia (Ina) 21-11, 14-21, 21-14; Kim So-Yeong-Kong Hee-yong (Kor) bt Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn) 19-21, 22-20, 24-22; Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu (Chn) bt Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara (Jpn) 21-13, 22-20.

Mixed doubles: Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) bt Yuki Kaneko-Misaki Matsutomo (Jpn) 21-13, 21-11; Rehan Naufal-Lisa Ayu (Ina) bt Kyohei Yamashita-Naru Shinoya (Jpn) 21-19, 15-21, 21-19; Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yu-jung (Kor) bt Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) 21-18, 13-21, 21-14; Kim Won-ho-Jeong Na-eun (Kor) bt Robin Tabeling-Selena Piek (Ned) 21-14, 21-15.


Men’s singles: Shi Yuqi (Chn) bt Lee Zii Jia (Mas) 21-19, 21-13.

Men’s doubles: Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang (Chn) 21-15, 19-21, 29-27.

Women’s singles: Chen Yufei (Chn) bt Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) 21-17, 21-8.

Women’s doubles: Baek Ha-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) bt Treesa Jolly-Gayathri Gopichand (Ind) 21-10, 21-10.

Mixed doubles: Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) bt Rehan Naufal-Lisa Ayu (Ina) 21-17, 13-21, 21-13.

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