LEE Zii Jia’s run of excellent outcomes on the Australian Open got here to an finish in a 3 set SF with WENG Hong Yang. What are the highest takeaways from this event for him and his followers?
As Crew LZJ launched into their flight to Sydney final week it was essential that Coach WONG and Darren Liew supported their participant. Amidst the gale of media criticism that usually swirls round him, they needed to embody the attention of the storm, giving tactical evaluation and unwavering confidence in his means to beat his challenges.
Earlier than the competitors started – after a dismal sequence of early exits – plus a hiatus to recharge and recalibrate, I feel that the prospect of creating the semi-final of a S500 event would have been a tantalizing glimpse of a brighter horizon.
As he took to the courtroom to face fellow Malaysian LEONG Jun Hao in R32 the primary fear was his latest behavior of early exits stemming from a mixture of impatience, good opponents, and dangerous luck. Nevertheless, plot twist! This time he modified the script. The match didn’t start notably properly: his play was marred by errors: his vary was out, and he was misjudging the world’s circumstances. LJH took the primary set, and an upset was on the playing cards. Nevertheless, set two and a small enchancment in his contact and a few misleading photographs surfaced. He was tenacious and levelled to 1 set all. His momentum continued and with a formidable show of psychological grit he acquired the victory in simply over an hour.
R16 was one other lengthy three set match, this time in opposition to Indian nationwide champion Mithun Manjunath. Zii Jia was extra comfy with the circumstances, and noticeably higher within the entrance courtroom. Whereas it was not a blinding efficiency he rose to the problem and was into his first Quarter Ultimate for months. It was encouraging to see him discover an additional gear at 16-16 within the ultimate set. MM resisted and fought again arduous however he couldn’t break LZJ’s resolve.
And so, to a different compatriot conflict, this time in opposition to the ever-improving NG Tze Yong. Malaysian badminton followers are fortunate to have two excellent MS. NTY’s performances on the Commonwealth Video games and on the All England this yr showcased his tenacity and undemonstrative self-confidence. He’s such a dogged, never-say-die competitor that it was crucial for LZJ to win in two if he had any hope of development. Ominously he misplaced the primary set and the second was balanced on a knife edge however Zii Jia wouldn’t yield, finally taking it to further factors 26-24. It was heartening to see his surge of dedication to get the match to a 3rd set. The benefit was with him, and he took it 21-19.
4 early exits in a row earlier than this event however this time he broke the sample and reached the SF. After his defeat he revealed in an interview with the BWF that enjoying as an underdog had helped him. He can take so many positives from this week. Towards WENG Hong Yang he confirmed a willingness to make use of his aggression to dominate the web; his motion was fluid, and his photographs have been sharp. Notably, he hasn’t journeyed deep right into a event for thus lengthy and this will likely be nice to enhance his match stamina.
What can we count on in Copenhagen on the World Championships? Realistically the problem continues to be consistency. Nevertheless, along with his group, he’s engaged on the toolkit to rework himself into a greater participant. The journey is simply starting.
if you happen to loved this check out my article about LZJ and Coach Wong https://womensbadminton.co.uk/2023/07/29/lee-zii-jia-and-plan-b/
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