Double singles joy for Malaysia

Malaysia men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia in action against China’s Zhao Junpeng during the first round of Malaysian Masters at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Men’s singles shuttlers Lee Zii Jia and Leong Jun Hao made it a double joy for the home fans when both reached the second round of the Malaysian Masters on Wednesday (May 22).

World No. 10 Zii Jia, who captured the Thailand Open on Sunday (May 19), continued his good run by coming from behind to beat China's 2022 World Championships bronze medallist Zhao Junpeng 19-21, 21-11, 21-14 at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

The independent player narrowly lost the first game but came back firing to dominate and take the next two games.

Zii Jia will next face India's Kiran George for a place in the last eight.

World No. 37 Jun Hao also secured a hard fought 13-21, 23-21, 21-12 victory over another Chinese Lei Lanxi.

Jun Hao has a tough battle next against Lanxi's teammate and last October's Hangzhou Asian Games gold medallist Li Shifeng.

Meanwhile, four mixed doubles representatives also booked their spots in the second round.

Top seeds and world No. 9 Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei easily beat Thailand's Pakkapon Teeraratsakul-Phataimas Muenwong 21-12, 21-14 while newlyweds Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie secured a 21-19, 21-17 win over South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Eom Hye-won.

Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing had to dig deep to overcome Thailand's Ruttanapak Oupthong-Jhenicha Sudjaipraparat 21-16, 17-21, 21-19 and will be joined in the second round by Hoo Pang Ron-Cheng Su Yin, who defeated Hong Kong’s Hung Kuei Chun-Tsang Hiu Yan 21-16, 25-23.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei will next play India’s B. Sumeeth Reddy-Sikki Reddy while Soon Huat-Shevon will face Taiwan’s Yang Po-hsuan-Hu Ling-fang.

Kian Meng-Pei Jing will take on South Korea’s Wang Chan-Shin Seung-chan in the second round while Pang Ron-Su Yin have a tough task against Denmark’s second seeds Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje.

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