Can Zii Jia and Pei Jing-Chiew Sien make it a grand double Down Under?


On course: Lim Chiew Sien (top) and Lai Pei Jing beat Hong Kong’s Yeung Nga Ting-Yeung Pui Lam 21-13, 18-21, 21-14 to enter the Australian Open final. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Top men’s shuttler Lee Zii Jia can’t help but feel good after reaching his third final in four tournaments.

The world No. 8 Zii Jia will take on Kodai Naraoka of Japan in the title-match of the Australian Open after slogging to beat Lee Chia-hao of Taiwan 10-21, 21-15, 21-10 yesterday at the Quaycentre in Sydney Olympic Park.

The world No. 6 Naraoka snuffed out the challenge of another Taiwanese by scoring a 22-20, 23-21 win against world No. 17 Lin Chun-yi.

Naraoka has a better record against Zii Jia, having won three of the last five meeting but the Japanese had lost at their last match-up in the All-England in March.

As draining as it has been, competing in back-to-back tournaments as part of the Paris Olympics preparation, Zii Jia is feeling on top of the world.

“Reaching my third final in four tournaments is something positive for me before the Olympics,” said Zii Jia. “There’s six weeks before Paris so my team felt that there was plenty of time to rest and prepare before going there.

Zii Jia had earlier made the finals at the Malaysian Masters and Thailand Open, where he went on to claim the title. He was out in the quarter-finals of the Indonesian Open last week.

Women’s doubles pair Lai Pei Jing-Lim Chiew Sien also entered the final after beating Hong Kong’s Yeung Nga Ting-Yeung Pui Lam 21-13, 18-21, 21-14. They will take on world No. 18 Febriana Dwipuji-Amallia Cahaya of Indonesia today.

Following the heartbreak of being scammed recently, Pei Jing said that she had moved on from the ordeal.

“I’ve already left it behind, and all I can do now is earn my money back, so I’m working hard on the court,” she said.

The win softened the blow for Pei Jing’s exit in the mixed doubles semi-final with Tan Kian Meng as they lost 11-21, 11-21 to China’s Jiang Zhenbang-Wei Yaxin.

Men’s doubles duo Choong Hon Jian-Mohd Haikal Nazri also bowed out in the semi-finals after losing 18-21, 9-21 to top seeds He Jiting-Ren Xiangyu of China.

Men’s singles: Lee Zii Jia (Mas) bt Lee Chia-hao (Tpe) 10-21, 21-15, 21-10; Kodai Naraoka (Jpn) bt Lin Chun-yi (Tpe) 22-20, 23-21

Women’s singles: Aya Ohori (Jpn) bt Sung Shuo-yun (Tpe) 21-4, 11-8, rtd; Ester Nurumi (Ina) bt Pai Yu-po (Tpe) 21-15, 21-16

Men’s doubles: He Jiting-Ren Xiangyu (Chn) bt Choong Hon Jian-Mohd Haikal Nazri (Mas) 21-18, 21-9; Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Chen Zhi-ray-Lun Yu-chieh (Tpe) 21-14, 17-21, 21-11

Women’s doubles: Lai Pei Jing-Lim Chiew Sien (Mas) bt Yeung Nga Ting-Yeung Pui Lam 21-13, 18-21, 21-14; Febriana Dwipuji-Amallia Cahaya (Ina) bt Setyana Mapasa-Angela Yu (Aus) 21-13, 21-7

Mixed doubles: Jiang Zhenbang-Wei Yaxin (Chn) bt Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (Mas) 21-11, 21-11; Guo Xinwa-Chen Fanghui (Chn) bt Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) 21-19, 22-20.

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