Lee Zii Jia admitted it was ‘a waste’ that he could not see off Lakshya Sen in their All England Open semi-finals contest, after looking favourite to win against the Indian youngster.
Lee looked odds on to book his second consecutive final in a tournament he won last year, with a 16-12 and 18-16 lead against the 20-year-old, even playing on the side of the court with the wind drift in his favour.
But credit to Lakshya who upped the ante and took more risks in a last-ditch attempt to turn the tables on Lee, and it paid off handsomely.
“It was a waste, as I led 16-12 in the rubber game. I must look into that. It was a loss of focus. He is a rally player and I had to be patient against him. It was a battle of the net plays as well, as we tried to win points there.
“But he was braver in the last few points. Overall for this tournament, even though it was not what I hoped for, I am still satisfied with my overall performance. I think I did my best,” he said.
Lee’s record at the All England also remained an excellent one, as he always made the semis at the least since his debut in 2020.
Lee would be heading home as he will not contend at the Swiss Open (March 22-27).
The world number seven next sees action at the Korea Open (April 5-10), before turning his attention to the Thomas Cup in May.
Lakshya meanwhile made his third final of the 2022 season, and faces last year’s finalist Viktor Axelsen for the title.
The world number one had a far easier match as he routed Chou Tien-Chen 21-13, 21-15.
The other finals see An Se-Young face Akane Yamaguchi (women’s singles), Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana vs Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (men’s doubles), Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida vs Zhang Shu Xian-Zheng Yu (women’s doubles) and Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino vs Wang Yi-Lyu-Huang Dong Ping (mixed doubles).