Zii Jia continues march while Hendrawan grapples with vertigo

PETALING JAYA: National singles head coach Hendrawan is having a headache and it has nothing to do with Lee Zii Jia (pic).

While Hendrawan has been feeling giddy with vertigo over the last few days, Zii Jia has been dizzy with joy as he continues his march for a possible final clash with reigning world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the World Tour Finals.

Zii Jia and Axelsen have won all their matches to emerge as the Group B and Group A champions in Bali.

Yesterday, Zii Jia took only 37 minutes to beat K. Srikanth of India 21-19, 21-14 while Tokyo Olympics champion Axelsen did not have to play his last group match as Kento Momota of Japan had earlier withdrawn due to injury.

As group winners, Zii Jia and Axelsen are seeded and a draw was conducted to determine their opponents. Zii Jia has been drawn to face Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn while Axelsen will play Laksya Sen of India in the semi-finals.

On paper and current form, it looks like Zii Jia versus Axelsen clash is on the cards.

Hendrawn, who sat through Zii Jia’s match yesterday despite his discomfort, was pleased with Zii Jia’s cool and calm approach in the game so far.

“I’ve been having the vertigo attack again. I’m not 100% well and try to take a rest in between but I’m happy that Zii Jia is in better form at this world meet,” said Hendrawan.

“Every player has their ups and downs, and it’s more obvious during this hectic schedule with so many back-to-back tournaments.

“Some are injured, some are exhausted while some are hitting their peak performance.

“Zii Jia is performing better than last week (after losing to Rasmus Gemke of Denmark) in the first round. We just hope that he will carry on that momentum in the semis.”

Independent shuttlers Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi did not win their last group matches yesterday and made it to the semi-finals as Group A and Group B runners-up.

Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah’s attempt to make the semi-final cut ended in 46 minutes when they went down 18-21, 11-21 to Olympic Games champion Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu in a make or break match. They finished third in Group A but only the top two get to play in the semi-finals.


Men’s singles

Group B: Lee Zii Jia (Mas) bt K. Srikanth (Ind) 21-19 21-14; Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha) bt Toma Junior Popov (Fra) 21-12 20-22 21-5.

Men’s doubles

Group A: Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya (Ina) bt Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den) 21-15, 18-21, 21-9.

Group B: Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn) bt Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Mas) 21-19, 12-21, 21-10.

Women’s singles

Group A: Line Christophersen (Den) bt Yvonne Li (Ger) 21-11 21-14; Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha) bt P.V. Sindhu (Ind) 21-12, 19-21, 21-14.

Group B: Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) bt Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) 21-18, 21-18.

Women’s doubles

Group A: Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu (Ina) bt Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (Mas) 21-18 21-11; Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong bt Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) 18-21 22-20 21-8.

Group B: Ashwini Ponnappa-Reddy N. Sikki (Ind) bt Chloe Birch-Lauren Smith (Eng) 21-19 9-21 21-14; Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida (Jpn) bt Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva (Bul) 21-9 21-16.

Mixed doubles

Group A: Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje (Den) bt Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (Mas) 21-15 21-17; Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn) bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 21-11 21-12.

Group B: Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) bt Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva (Ina) 21-11 21-15; Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taetattanachai (Tha) bt Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith (Eng) 21-18 21-13.