Malaysia Lee Zii Jia witnessed the early end of another BWF World Tour tournament after being eliminated in a three-match brawl in the second round at Open India on Thursday (January 19).
Lee, who has struggled with inconsistent form for the past year, has already endured a tight three-game opening round run against Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.
his opponent, Li Shifeng of the People’s Republic of China looked to capitalize on this by dominating the first game, dropping nine straight points in one stage to open an 11–1 lead.
While Lee fought hard and returned to the fray, winning Game 2 21-14, it looked like things might not go his way in the deciding match as Li once again crept into an early lead.
The Malaysian dug deep to regain the lead as the shuttle pair exchanged the lead. But when Li hit up front with 15-15, the Chinese player didn’t look back, sending the second seed a pack of 21-11, 14-21, 21-18 in one hour and four minutes.
Previously the third seed Loh Kean Yew defeated Denmark Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in two games in a row 21-18-21-17 to set up a tantalizing quarter-final against Thailand Kunlavut Vitidsarn, who defeated the Singaporean in last year’s SEA Games final. Viktor Axelsen has also made progress.
The winner of this quarterfinal can face Li in the final four, as long as the latter gets through a tough clash with Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
In the women’s singles draw, the Olympic champion from Rio 2016 Carolina Marin will face the number one and world champion Yamaguchi Akane in the quarters after beating sixth seed Thailand Ratchanok Inthanon 21-16, 21-16.