KUALA LUMPUR (14 January 2019): Up-and-coming men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia is determined to use the Perodua Malaysia Masters (PMM) 2019 on January 15-20 as the platform for himself and other junior players to prove that they are ready to step into the shoes of the seniors.With the withdrawal of a number of senior players from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) for pastures new, Zii Jia looks at the situation as heaven sent opportunity for the back-up players to show they can be counted upon for major assignments.
Zii Jia, when met during the Purple League recently, said: “It’s true that if we look at BAM now it’s filled with young players.
“I hope that all the youngsters, not me alone but all the juniors, do not see this as a burden but as their responsibility to prove that they are up to the task.”
Zii Jia, who was born in Alor Setar, added that Lee Chong Wei, who is back in training, will provide a timely boost for the national badminton squad.
“I feel that his return is a boost for our men’s singles team and hopefully Chong Wei’s presence can help us face the challenges ahead,” he said.
With regards to his PMM 2019 target, the 21-year-old said: “My target, of course is to go as far as possible in the PMM this time. I will be on court from as early as the qualifying rounds.
“It will not be easy as the world’s top 40 players are competing here this time around, but nonetheless, I want to reach the semi-finals or final because I am playing in front of my fans. I don’t want to think too much about it to avoid being under too much pressure.”
Winner of the Taiwan Open last year, Zii Jia also wants to use this tournament as a stepping stone to collect as many points as possible and become one of the world’s top 32 players before April to enable him to play in the BWF World Tour 750 or 1000 to gain exposure playing against the world’s best.
According to the PMM 2019 qualifying round schedule, Zii Jia opens his campaign against China’s Zhou Zeqi before taking on either Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand or another player from China, Zhao Junpeng.
In his first outing in 2019, Zii Jia was halted in the quarter finals of the Thailand Masters, where he was defeated by Brice Leverdez from France in straight sets, 11-21, 19-21.
For those who want to catch Zii Jia’s exploits and the other Malaysians in action, tickets can be purchased online through website https://myticket.asia/ or on match day at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur Sports City (KLSC).
Tickets are priced at between RM18 and RM75 depending on the seating (upper, lower and premium). Children from between four years and 18 years can enjoy discounts of up to 50% till the quarter- finals (Premium and Lower Tier) and discounts up to the final (for Upper Tier). There are also VIP passes and season passes on offer.
With the status of BWF World Tour Super 500, Perodua Malaysia Masters 2019 offers a total cash prize of US$350,000.