National men’s singles ace Lee Zii Jia continued his winning ways and booked a spot in the quarterfinals after defeating Sameer Verma 21-19, 22-20 in the second round of the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2020 presented by Daihatsu at Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil, here today. 

It was a tight battle right from the start but the 21-year-old Zii Jia kept his composure to stamp his superiority towards the last stage of the second set where he once trailed Verma.

Zii Jia will now clash against 7th seed Shi Yu Qi in tomorrow’s last eight encounter. Shi had earlier defeated Lu Guang Zu 21-16, 21-12 to advance into the quarterfinal.  

“It was a tiring match all the way. We’ve played against each other quite a number of times and know each other’s game too well. But in the end, I managed to claw my way back into the game after trailing in the second set and forced him into making errors,” said Zii Jia.

Zii Jia looks forward to his quarterfinal clash against Shi Yu Qi, saying that he is fully prepared to face the Chinese ace. “I played against him once and lost tamely, but this time around, revenge is on my mind,” said Zii Jia. 

In the men’s doubles, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi confirmed their quarterfinal spot after upsetting China’s 8th seed Han Cheng Kai-Zhao Hao Dong. 

After losing their two previous encounters against the world number 11, Ong-Teo finally notched their first win over the Chinese pair in straight sets of 21-13, 21-18 which lasted 31 minutes. 

The pair will be up against Korea’s Kim Gi Jung-Lee Yong Dae who had earlier defeated fourth seed, Takeshi Komura-Keigo Sonoda 21-15, 21-17. 

“We’ve made some changes in strategy today and played patiently especially in long rallies. We’re not setting any targets and are taking things one step at a time to avoid unnecessary pressures,” said Ong after the match. 

In the women’s doubles, young pair Pearly Tan-Thinaah Muralitharan put up a gallant effort against Indonesia’s top pair Greysia Polli –Apriani Rahayu, battling point for point in the first set before succumbing to a 22-20, 21-15 defeat. 

“We tried hard especially in the first set but the Indonesian pair were too strong, they had the edge when it comes to experience and managing pressures. We lost but there were no regrets as we too learnt a lot from this valuable experience of competing at the highest level,” said Thinaah. 

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