Lee Zii Jia needed three games to overcome his relatively unknown opponent to book a place at the Australian Open second round on Wednesday, as he aims to finish on a high in his final event before the Paris Olympics.

The third seeded Malaysian needed 64-minutes to overcome India’s S.Sankar 21-16, 18-21, 21-10 before he could confirm a second round berth fellow countryman Soong Joo Ven.

Lee had a good spell last month by winning the Thailand Open and reaching the Malaysia Masters final the following week, but crashed out of the Indonesia Open quarter-finals after a straight game loss against Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

This Super 500 event in Sydney will allow him the opportunity to gain some valuable points to boost his ranking for a higher seeding at the Paris spectacle (July 26-Aug 11).

Lee’s big smashes won him the first game, but Sankar fought back and capitalized on the Malaysian’s unforced errors in the crucial stages of the second game to level proceedings.

But the world number eight was much more clinical in the deciding game to come away with the win.

Despite the absence of most of the top-tier shuttlers for this event, Lee will still have to contend with the likes of Chou Tien-chen, Loh Kean Yew, H.S.Prannoy and second seeded Kodai Naraoka for the title.




Meanwhile, four mixed doubles pairs also made it to the second round.

Choong Hon Jian-Go Pei Kee will have an easier time against a home pair next, but Hoo Pang Ron-Cheng Su Yin have to face recent Indonesia Open champions Jiang Zhen Bang-Wei Ya Xin.

Yap Roy King-Valeree Siow will play Hong Kong’s Reginald Lee-Ng Tsz Yau, while Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing are up against an Australian pair.

K. Letshaana also recorded a much needed win against an Australian opponent in the women's singles, but faces a tougher second round against Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu-po.