Lee Zii Jia described the All-England as special to him after the Malaysian produced a powerful performance to dispose of Sitthikom Thammasin 21-12, 21-15 to cruise into the men’s singles second round on Wednesday.
“I’ve had good results here. This is my fourth time here, and every time I step on the court, it feels special for me,” he said after the 33-minute victory over his Thai opponent.
In the last three editions, Lee reached at least the semis, winning it in 2021.
Against Thammasin, the Malaysian showed off some of the ruthless attacking display that proved the essence of his win.
His overall game was impressive, and he got most of the basics right with some immaculate defending and sharp net exchanges.
But it was his signature smashing that stood out at the Arena Birmingham, especially his angled cross-court kills from the deep end of his half that left Thammasin rooted on many occasions.
He goes on to face Kenta Nishimoto in a positive spirit on the back of this dominant performance.
While it was a good day at the office for Lee, it was one to forget for men's doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik who crashed out early again.
The world number two pair, who crashed out early in Germany last week, suffered an 18-21, 21-14, 13-21 defeat against Indonesians Daniel Marthin-Leo Rolly Carnando.
These are worrying times for Chia-Soh, who only had an India Open final as their best result to show for so far this year.