KUALA LUMPUR (28 March 2019): With the absence of national superstar Lee Chong Wei, the fans’ attention will now be switched to rising talent Lee Zii Jia who will carry the nation’s hopes in the men’s singles of this year’s Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open.
The youngster is well aware that he has been put in the spotlight since the withdrawal of Chong Wei, who had targeted the Malaysian Open for his eagerly awaited comeback after an enforced layoff, but nonetheless Zii Jia does not want it to be a distraction when he takes to the court.
“Surely there will be pressure from fans who will be expecting me to perform above myself in front of the home crowd but my plan is to simply stay focused and take one match at a time,” Zii Jia wisely said when contacted.
When asked if he was ready to live up to Chong Wei’s Malaysia Open record, Zii Jia said: “Chong Wei has twelve Malaysia Open titles under his belt which is an incredible feat and definitely a tough act to follow. I will take it step by step and believe that success can be achieved given time.
“Considering that I have played against some of the world’s best players like Victor Axelsen and having beaten Chou Tien Chen previously, I will be counting on these experiences to help me advance. I hope to display a more consistent game plan on court throughout the Malaysia Open.”
The lanky 20-year-old opens his quest for the title against Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon, and assuming he comes through, faces a tough second round encounter against either China’s Lin Dan or Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.
Zii Jia and his national teammates will be banking on the fierce home crowd support to spur them on towards glory in this edition of the Malaysia Open.
Besides Zii Jia, the other representative carrying Malaysia’s hopes in the men’s singles is professional player Liew Daren who will also open his campaign against a Thai player in the form of Kantaphon Wangcharoen.
The Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open 2019, which is part of the 2019 HSBC BWF World Tour, is slated for April 2-7, 2019 at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur Sports City (KLSC) and offers total prize money of US$700,000 for the winners of the respective categories.
Tickets are already on sale with prices varying based on the five different seating categories – upper, lower, premium, VIP and Superfan which offers passionate badminton fans the unique opportunity of experiencing all the action up close in addition to receiving access to exclusive hospitality at Axiata Arena, an official souvenir programme and poster autographed by our national players. Ticketing details are available at http://www.myticket.asia/ and ticket hotline (+603-86050195).