Controversial national shuttler Lee Zii Jia cleared his first hurdle with a 21-18, 21-12 win over Japan Kenta Nishimoto in his opening match in the men’s singles in the USD150,000 New Zealand Open at the Event Finda Stadium in Auckland on Labour Day.
However, the Malaysian has another Japanese obstacle for a place in the quarter-finals when he faces Kazumasa Sakai in the second round.
Joining Zii Jia in the second round is professional Chong Wei Feng who overcame a one-game deficit to oust Indonesia’s Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 17-21, 21-13, 21-16 in 57 minutes.
However, Soong Joo Ven who made the main draw after coming through the qualifying rounds was shown the door with a heartbreaking 19-21, 18-21 defeat to Korean veteran Lee Hyung Il.
There was good news in the men’s doubles with Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik-and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong advancing to the second round together with Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi.
V Shem-Wee Kiong, the seventh seeds, advanced with a 21-15, 21-16 win over German pair Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel Aaron-Wooi Yik defeated Australians Simon Leung Wing Hang-Mitchell Wheller 21-16, 21-11. Yew Sin-Ee Yi upset Liao Min Chun-Su Ching-Heng of Chinese Taipei 21-16, 21-13.
In the women’s doubles, Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen made a winning start defeated Indonesia’s Yulfira Barkah-Jauza Fadhila Sugiarto 21-15, 21-17. However, Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean fell to Japan’s No 3 seeds Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara 16-21, 15-21 in 35 minutes.
Women’s singles hope Soniia Cheah also crashed out in the first round – losing 21-23, 15-21 to China-born Zhang Beiwen, the third seed, from the United States. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH