Lee gets early wake-up call from world No. 77 Sankar

Pushing the limits: Lee Zii Jia had to labour to a 21-16, 18-21, 21-10 victory over India’s S. Sankar Muthusamy in the first round of the Australian Open. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia moved on to the Australian Open second round, although not without a slight scare.

The world No 8, competing at his final tournament before shifting his focus fully to the Paris Olympics starting next month, had to labour to a 21-16, 18-21, 21-10 victory over India’s S. Sankar Muthusamy.

The big scare came in the second game when world No. 77 Sankar managed to chase down Zii Jia as the lead changed hands before taking the win and forcing the third game.

But Zii Jia was quick to regain his composure and sealed the win to keep his upward momentum before the Olympics.

Zii Jia fell one spot in the rankings recently after his outing at the Indonesian Open where he bowed out in the quarter-finals to Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn, who leapfrogged Zii Jia to seventh.

The Malaysian will play compatriot Soong Joo Ven today. Joo Ven cleared his first round fixture against Canada’s Victor Lai.

Ranked 78th, Joo Ven got past world No 90 Victor in straight games 21-12, 21-16 yesterday.

It has been some time since both Malaysians met on court, having only played twice, with Zii Jia winning both, the most recent being at the Malaysian Masters in 2019.

Men’s doubles pair Keane Chok-Andy Kok also entered the second round after clearing Low Pit Seng-Toby Wong of Australia 21-8, 21-12, and will take on Taiwan’s Chen Zhi-ray-Lin Yu-chieh in the second round.

In the women’s singles department, K. Letshanaa defeated Australia’s Ira Acharya 21-6, 21-5 to advance to the second round and will meet Taiwan’s Pai Yu-po today.

However, she won’t be joined by compatriot Wong Ling Ching, who fell 21-14, 23-21 to India’s U. Anupama.


(Malaysians only)

Men’s singles: Lee Zii Jia bt S. Sankar Muthusamy (Ind) 21-16, 18-21, 21-10, Soong Joo Ven bt Victor Lai (Can) 21-12, 21-16.

Women’s singles: K. Letshanaa bt Ira Acharya (Aus) 21-6, 21-5, U. Anupama (Ind) bt Wong Ling Ching 21-14, 23-21.

Men’s doubles: Keane Chok-Andy Kok bt Low Pit Seng-Toby Wong (Aus) 21-8, 21-12.

Mixed doubles: Hoo Pang Ron-Cheng Su Yin bt Kona Tarun-K. Priya (Ind) 21-6, 21-11; Yap Roy King-Valeree Siow bt Vincent Lawrencio-Louisa Ma (Aus) 21-4, 21-5; Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing bt Sam Ephraim-Dania Nugroho (Aus) 21-13, 21-13; Choong Hon Jian-Go Pei Kee bt Rehan Naufal-Lisa Ayu (Ina) 24-26, 21-17, 21-14; Sumeeth Reddy-Sikki Reddy (Ind) bt Wong Tien Ci-Lim Chiew Sien 21-17, 21-19.

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Badminton , Australian Open , Lee Zii Jia


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