World news – Can Zii Jia bring Viktor backstage to win the men’s All England singles title?


Sunday March 21, 2021

PETALING JAYA: Lee Zii Jia fought a delicious duel against former world champion Viktor Axelsen from Denmark in the All-England men’s final.

On Saturday (March 20th) Zii Jia and Axelsen won their semi-finals in contrasting styles at Arena Birmingham.

Zii Jia, 22, was a bundle of nerves when it took him 44 minutes to beat Holland’s Mark Caljouw 21-13.21-17. Zii Jia’s form was erratic, but luckily he did enough to fend off spirited Caljouw and make his first final.

The Malaysian made it to the semifinals last year but was only beaten by Axelsen, who won the title.

The former world No. 1 Dane showed his strong intention to defend the title as he battled the diehard Anders Antonsen of Denmark for 67 minutes at 16-21.21-7.21-17. </ National coach Datuk Tey Seu Bock said Zii Jia had a chance to end a four-year title drought if he could reproduce the same form he used to beat two-time world champion Kento Momota from Japan in the quarter-finals on Friday (March 19) ).

Malaysia last won in All-England by Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles in the 2017 edition.

« Zii Jia didn’t play well, but I expected it. His game against the Dutchman was full of mistakes, « said Seu Bock.

 » He was pretty nervous, however that was understandable. He was only one step away from the final and struggled to hold his own against his lower ranked opponent. Fortunately he stayed there.

« If he can play like he did against Momota, there is also the possibility of putting Axelsen in the limelight.

 » Zii Jia has had a bad start to the season. He has certainly improved and we hope he will do his best for the final game here.

« I dated Chong Wei when he won the All England title in 2011, 2013 and 2017, and hopefully I’m going to witness a new champion this time, « added Seu Bock.

There was no double joy for Malaysia when Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying in the mixed doubles semi-final against Yuki Kaneko-Misaki Matsutomo from Japan with 14: 21.20: 22 lost. The Malaysians led 16-4 in the second, but had a good chance of forcing a decider when they allowed the Japanese to take an amazing win from behind (Jpn) against Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe (Jpn) women’s doubles : Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) against Mayu Matsutomo-Wakana Nagahara (Jpn) women singles: Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha) against Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) men singles: Zii Jia (Mas) against Viktor AXelsen (Den) mixed doubles : Yuki Kaneko-Misaki Matsutomo (Jpn) versus Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn)

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