Lee Zii Jia upsets Axelsen, to meet world No. 1 Momota in Korea Open quarters

This is Zii Jia’s first win against the Dane. — AFP pic
This is Zii Jia’s first win against the Dane. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Malaysia’s top men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia claimed another big scalp by beating world number seven Viktor Axelsen of Denmark at the Korea Open badminton championship today.

The 21-year-old player booked his ninth quarter-final berth after claiming a 21-18, 21-16 victory against the former world number one in 35 minutes in the second-round battle.

It is Zii Jia’s first win against the Dane, who just returned from back and leg injuries a few weeks ago.

“I’m very happy that I have entered my ninth quarter-final today, and also winning against my idol Axelsen. It means a lot to me.

“But apparently Axelsen has not fully recovered, and of course I also played my best today. Hopefully, he will come back stronger,” he said when contacted.

But the Malaysian will face an uphill task against world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the last eight tomorrow.

“I know it’s hard to play against him, but I will give my best tomorrow. Nothing is impossible,” said Zii Jia, who lost all his three previous matches against Momota.

Meanwhile, another Malaysian men’s singles player Liew Daren went down fighting against India’s Parupalli Kashyap after battling for almost one hour.

Daren, who upset five-time world champion Lin Dan of China yesterday, was beaten by Kashyap 21-17, 11-21, 21-12.

In men’s doubles, independent pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong were shown the exit by world number one Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia in the second round.

The Indonesians won 21-9, 22-20 in 27 minutes. — Bernama

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