Malaysia’s badminton star Lee Zii Jia suffered a defeat against Li Shifeng of the People’s Republic of China in the round of 16 at the BWF French Open 2023 on Thursday (26 October).
The exit is a setback for Lee, who was aiming to continue the momentum after reaching two finals in a row on the BWF Tour.
It started well for the Malaysian shuttler, who – after a tight opening to the first game – found his rhythm and scored five consecutive points to take a 14-7 lead.
Li, the reigning All England champion, did not give up and managed to narrow Lee’s advantage to just one point at 17-16.
However, the Malaysian kept his composure and stayed in front to wrap up the first game 21-17.
In the second game, Lee struggled to find his range, often sending the shuttle long.
Taking advantage of this, Li led 11-9 at the mid-game interval. He then went on a streak, securing five successive points and convincingly taking the second game 21-11
Lee seemed determined at the start of the decider, taking a 6-1 lead.
However, the Malaysian star eventually squandered his advantage, allowing Li to edge in front 10-11 at the break.
Seemingly demoralised, Lee ceded the initiative to his opponent after the interval, and Li easily secured the third game 21-12 to advance in Rennes.
In the quarter-finals, the 2022 Asian Games winner will face world No.2 Anthony Ginting.
Meanwhile, in women’s singles, 2016 Olympic champion Carolina Marin defeated Putri Kusuma Wardani of Indonesia in straight games, 21-16, 21-18. The three-time world champion is now set to face wolrd No. 19 Ohori Aya of Japan in the next round.
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