Hopes of witnessing a Lee Zii Jia vs Kento Momota quarter-final showdown went up in smoke at the Malaysia Open after the Malaysian crashed out in the second round following 19-21, 21-19, 16-21 defeat to Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.
Lee, who was one of the biggest attractions of this Super 750 event, suffered a 19-21, 21-19, 16-21 defeat to Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.
The Indonesian started aggressively and forced the Malaysian into several unforced errors to take the lead with a 21-19 win.
Lee fought back in the second to level with a similar win, but Rhustavito was not to be denied a deserved victory.
The Asian and Thailand Open champion admitted he was up against a formidable opponent.
“Matches between me and him have always been a tight affair. He is a tough opponent for me. There are no regrets for me, I have lost and I have to accept it.
“It doesn’t affect my confidence, I know where my level is at and what I must do to maintain it,” he said.
Reaksi Lee Zii Jia selepas ditewas oleh Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 2-1.— ASTRO ARENA (@ASTROARENA) June 30, 2022
Pemain ranking #5 dunia mengakui kena accept result hari ni. pic.twitter.com/LBvrLvqTJK
Lee’s loss aside, other Malaysians secured progression to the last eight.
In the women’s doubles, Anna Ching-Teoh Mei Xing dished out the biggest win after they stunned world number three pair Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan 18-21, 21-12, 21-15 in a battle that lasted 54 minutes.
“It was an unbelievable win. We had the home advantage and we made it count. We are thrilled!” they said.
They meet fifth seeds Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara next.
It was a good day in the office for the men’s doubles too, with three pairs booking their berths in the next round.
Most impressive were Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, who dominated Tokyo Olympic champions Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin to win 21-17, 21-18 in 41 minutes.
They contend against Indonesians sixth seeds Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto for a place in the semi-finals.
Fifth seeds Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik had no problems overcoming Terry Hee-Loh Kean Hean 21-16, 21-13 to go through to take on Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan next.
Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin also made it through albeit without playing after Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty conceded a walkover.
These shuttlers were the only ones through after other comrades all lost on Thursday.
They included Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah, Chen Tang Jie-Valeree Siow, Low Yeen Yuan-Siow and Tan Wee Kiong-Tan Kian Meng.