Lee Zii Jia in action during men’s singles match against Ade Resky Dwicahyo of Azerbaijan at the Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand Open 2022 badminton tournament in Nonthaburi, Thailand. - EPA PIC

Zii Jia, Daren cruise into second round of Thailand Open

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s men’s singles Lee Zii Jia made easy work of Azerbaijan’s Ade Resky Dwicahyo to check into the second round of the Thailand Open in Bangkok today.

Zii Jia, who remained in the Thai capital after the Thomas Cup last week, needed only 36 minutes to rout the Indonesia-born qualifier 21-19, 21-9 in the opening round at the Impact Arena.

The 24-year-old independent shuttler, who was also recently crowned Asian champion, is expected to clear his second round with ease as he faces another qualifier next in Germany’s Kai Schaefer.

Meanwhile, Zii Jia’s assistant coach Liew Daren, another member of Malaysia’s Thomas Cup squad, also reached the second round after a hard fought 21-17, 15-21, 21-15 win over India’s H.S. Prannoy.

For the record, Prannoy was one of the key players in India’s Thomas Cup victory on Sunday.

Daren will face Japan’s Koki Watanabe in the second round next.

It was, however, the end of the road for world No 46 Ng Tze Yong, who was sent packing in the opening round by Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei, who chalked up a 21-12, 13-21, 21-19 win.

In the men’s doubles first round, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists and sixth seeds, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, had to dig deep before seeing off local qualifiers Weeraphat Phakjarung-Wongsathorn Thongkham 13-21, 21-12, 21-9.

Aaron-Wooi Yik will face Taiwan’s Lee Jhe Huei-Yang Po Hsuan next.

Independent duo Nur Azriyn Ayub-Lim Khim Wah crashed out in the first round after losing 21-15, 21-14 to Danish pair Jeppe Bay-Lasse Molhede.

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