KUALA LUMPUR – The world No. 2 in Badminton Lee Zii Jia suffered a shock first-round defeat in opposition to rising Japanese star Kodai Naraoka within the first upset of the season-opening Malaysia Open on Wednesday.
Naraoka, ranked seventh on the earth, defeated the Malaysian star, 13-21, 21-17, 21-19 in 73 minutes of battle.
Lee, the reigning Asian champion, was the clear favourite among the many residence followers, who chanted his identify on the Axiata Area in Kuala Lumpur.
The 2 shuttlers had by no means met earlier than and Lee went on the offensive to win the primary recreation.
However Naraoka got here again to degree the match with a hard-working efficiency after which sealed the victory with superior web play and by putting on the proper moments.
“I gave my finest but it surely was not sufficient. I’ve to simply accept this consequence,” mentioned Lee, who performed in his first match and not using a coach.
“These previous couple of factors are about confidence, and he has extra of it than I do.”
Lee broke up along with his former Indonesian coach Indra Wijaya final November. He says it is not the identical coaching and not using a coach and he has to comply with his determination.
A jubilant Naraoka mentioned of his win: “I attempted to be aggressive in opposition to him and it labored.”
However, Loh Kean Yew of Singapore superior to the spherical of 16 after a 21-19, 23-21 victory in opposition to world No. 20 of China’s Li Shifeng. Loh will face one other Chinese language rival, Twelfth-ranked Zhao Junpeng, subsequent Thursday.
World champion Viktor Axelsen will face Malaysia’s Liew Daren within the second spherical on Thursday. AFP