Malaysia’s top men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia was blown away in less than half an hour – 29 minutes to be exact – in his opening match in the USD750,000 French Open, going down to Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting 16-21, 8-21 on Tuesday.
This is his second successive first-round defeat in Europe. Last week the Kedahan failed to get past the first round in the Denmark Open when he went down fighting to China’s reigning Olympic champion Chen Long who won 21-18, 15-21, 21-16.
Malaysia’s hopes in the women’s singles at the Stade Pierre de Courbetin also ended in a similar fashion. Soniia who lost to Korea’s Kim Ga-Eun in the first round in Denmark Open went down in straight games to Singapore’s Ye Jia Min 15-21, 16-21 in 37 minutes.
Malaysia, however, will feature in the second round in the women’s doubles when Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen strolled to an easy 21-9, 21-10 win over Ariel lee-Sydney Lee of the United States in only 21 minutes.
In the mixed doubles, Tan Kian meng-Lai Pei Jing clawed back from a one-game deficit to pack fifth seeds and former national teammates Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying 19-21, 21-16, 21-13 to advance to the second round.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying, the reigning Olympic silver medallist, reached the quarter-finals in the Denmark Open in Odense last week before falling to Koreans Seo Seung Jae-Chae Yujung 18-21, 18-21.
It was another disappointing performance and an early exit from Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong in the men’s doubles. The Rio Olympics silver medal winners crashed out in three games 21-11, 14-21, 16-21 to Japan’s fourth seeds Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda in 53 minutes.
Two other men’s doubles pairs – Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, together with women’s doubles Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean will go into the fray on Wednesday. RIZAL ABDULLAH