Zii Jia beats Momota, powers into All England


World No 7 Lee Zii Jia took a giant step forward in his title defence of the All-England by charging into the semi-finals.

The defending champion delivered one of his best performances in recent months to beat Japan’s world No 2 Kento Momota 21-7, 13-21, 21-11 at the Arena Birmingham on Thursday.

In a repeat of the quarter-finals last year, the Kedahan got out the blocks early as he stormed to an 8-0 lead in the first game and duly powered into a one-game lead.

Momota, however, found his groove in the second game as he went on a flurry of points from 8-12 down to level proceedings.

After a neck-and-neck start in the deciding rubber, Zii Jia stepped up the pace to pull away and he never looked back to seal the win in 64 minutes.

It was certainly a top result for Zii Jia who has certainly look short on ideas recently.


Zii Jia goes on to meet India’s Lakshya Sen for a place in the final.

The Indian world No 11 received a free ride into the semi-finals after his opponent – China’s Lu Guangzu withdrew injured.

“Momota couldn’t control the shuttle in the first game. I just tried to keep playing my attacking shots. This win gives me a lot of confidence,” Zii Jia told BWF.

“The next round will be against Lakshya, who is in good form.

“I just need to enjoy my game and play the way I have. Lakshya is playing very well and will be a top player in future.”

The other semi-final will see top seed Viktor Axelsen take on Taiwan’s fourth seed Chou Tien Chen.

Zii Jia is the sole Malaysian survivor left in the competition after the exits of women’s pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah and mixed pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing.

World No 15 Pearly-Thinaah put up a strong challenge against rising South Korean pair Jeong Na Eun-Kim Hye Jeong but ran out of steam in a 15-21, 21-17, 21-9 defeat.

Kian Meng-Pei Jing, on the other hand, fell to a 21-15, 21-15 defeat to China’s second seeds Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong.

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