Zii Jia has to get it right against left-handed players, says MisbunStephanie Chan
PETALING JAYA: China’s shuttler Weng Hongyang is always associated to his senior Lin Dan as both are left-handed.
And on Sunday, the 24-year-old Hongyang showed no mercy as he outplayed Lee Zii Jia 21-12, 21-6 in the men’s singles final of the Denmark Open in Odense and spoiled the professional shuttler’s hope of winning back-to-back titles.
Zii Jia had won the Arctic Open in Finland last week.
Datuk Misbun Sidek believed that Zii Jia’s inability to adapt to the playing style of the world No. 22 Hongyang cost him the game in the final.
“Zii Jia had played against all the right-handed players from the first round in Denmark but was stumped in the final against Hongyang. He was uncomfortable throughout the match,” said Misbun, who had coached Zii Jia during his days as a back-up shuttler.
It was Hongyang’s third win in his fourth meeting against Zii Jia. He has also beaten the Malaysian in Opens in Singapore and Australia this year.
“Playing against a left-handed player is tricky. Lin Dan used to to rule the world once. Zii Jia has to look at ways to counter players with this style of play,” he said.
Hongyang had been attributed to have similar talent as the former Olympic champion Lin Dan after winning his first World Tour title at the China Masters in 2019. Since then, he has been trying to make his presence felt in the circuit.
He was a member of the team that won the Asian Games team gold in Hangzhou recently.
Misbun however, is happy to see the progress of the former All-England champion Zii Jia.
“Zii Jia is playing like how he used to play. We saw that at the tournament in Finland last week and also in Denmark. We hope he will continue to do well,” said Misbun.
World No. 11 Zii Jia will play Hongyang again in the first round of the French Open starting tomorrow in Paris but it’s unsure whether the Malaysian will see action. Men’s singles: Weng Hongyang (Chn) bt Lee Zii Jia (Mas) 21-12, 21-6.
Men’s doubles: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) bt Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana (Ina) 21-13, 21-17.
Women’s singles: Chen Yufei (Chn) bt Carolina Marin (Spa) 21-14, 21-19.
Women’s doubles: Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn) bt Nami Matsuyama Chiharu Shida (Jpn) 21-16, 21-13.
Mixed doubles: Feng Yanzhe-Huang Dongping (Chn) bt Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) 16-21, 21-15, 26-24.