BANGKOK, May 15 — Malaysian men’s singles shuttlers, Lee Zii Jia and Leong Jun Hao safely cruised into the second round of the 2024 Thailand Open today.

The world number 10, professional singles player Zii Jia defeated China’s Lei Lan Xi 21-17, 23-21 in a 50-minute battle while Jun Hao defeated Su Li Yang of Chinese Taipei 14-21, 21-15 and 21-17 in 66 minutes.

Zii Jia will take on Jeon Hyeok Jin of South Korea for a place in the quarter-finals while Jun Hao will face a tough encounter against home favourite and former world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand.

Zii Jia when met after the match said he was happy that he managed to go through to second round and he will be preparing for a tough battle against Hyeok Jin tomorrow.

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“Although I have beaten him (Hyeok Jin) last year...I do not want to take anything for granted and will prepare myself well for the game tomorrow,” he told Bernama here today.

The tournament’s sixth seed Zii Jia said he did not set any target for this tournament so as not to pressure himself because his prime target is still the Olympic Games.

However, Malaysian men’s doubles pair, Junaidi Arif-Yap Roy King sprang a surprise when they ousted the tournament sixth seeds, Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han of Chinese Taipei 16-21, 21-13 and 21-16 in 63 minutes.

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Junaidi said that their key enroute winning the battle lies on the game plan in the second and third sets.

“In the first set, we followed our opponent’s game too much and they controlled the game but we managed to change in the second set and captured the set which gave us confidence to push for the rubber game,” he said.

Junaidi-Roy King will meet the Danish pair of Danile Lungaard-Mads Vestergaard who earlier defeated young Malaysian pair of Beh Chun Meng-Goh Boon Zhe 22-20, 21-12 in 38 minutes.

Another Malaysian men’s doubles pair who sailed into the second round are Choong Hon Jian-Muhammad Haikal who beat Christopher Grimley-Matthew Grimley of Scotland in straight sets, 21-16, 21-11 in 32 minutes and tomorrow they will face the Thai pair of Pharanyu Kaosamaang-Worrapol Thongsa-nga who earlier defeated another Malaysian pair, Chia Weijie-Liew Xun 21-14, 18-21 and 21-19 in 55 minutes.

The other Malaysian men’s doubles pairs, Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong, Nur Mohd Azryn Ayub Azryn-Tan Wee Kiong and Boon Xin Yuan-Goh V Shem, all crashed out of the tournament after losing to their opponents.

In the mixed doubles, Malaysia’s Yap Roy King-Valeree Siow beat Lui Chun Wai-Fu Chi Yan of Hong Kong 21-19, 21-17 while Choong Hon Jian-Go Pei Kee defeated Neuaduang Mangkornloi-Atitaya Povanon of Thailand 21-10, 21-15.

Roy King-Valeree will take on the tournament top seeds and home favourites, Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai while Hon Jian-Pei Kee will face tournament sixth seeds, Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto-Lisa Ayu Kusumawati of Indonesia tomorrow.

The country’s sole representative in the women’s singles, K. Letshanaa failed to clear her first hurdle after losing to the tournament’s sixth seed Supanida Katethong of Thailand 12-21, 10-21 in 39 minutes.

Malaysia did not send any participants for the women’s doubles this year. — Bernama