NATIONAL men’s singles ace Lee Zii Jia’s hopes of ending his 10-month title drought were dashed after he was knocked out by China’s Shi Yu Qi in the semi-finals of the 2023 All England badminton championships tonight.
World number four Zii Jia, whose last triumph came in the Thailand Open last May and who was hoping to make amends for his inconsistent performances, went down 19-21,13-21 to Yu Qi in 43 minutes at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham.
Zii Jia, the 2021 All England champion, managed to give a stern fight to the 2018 World Championship silver medallist in the opening game, but was out of sorts in the second game, thus, ending Malaysia’s challenge in the All England.
The 24-year-old Zii Jia has now lost four of the five matches he has played against world number 12 Yu Qi.
Zii Jia had advanced to the semi-finals of the Super 1000 tournament after ousting rising Japanese star Kodai Naraoka 21-9, 10-21, 21-13 in the last eight yesterday while Yu Qi disposed of compatriot Weng Hong Yang 21-9, 21-16.
Zii Jia has endured a dismal campaign so far this year, having been knocked out in the first round of the season-opening Malaysia Open and the second round of three other tournaments – the India Open, Indonesia Masters and most recently the German Open. – Bernama, March 18, 2023.