Ng Tze Yong Advances, Lee Zii Jia Crashes Out Of Singapore Open

Ng Tze Yong makes the 2023 Singapore Open second round. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Ng Tze Yong makes the 2023 Singapore Open second round. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Singapore: Malaysia’s World No. 21 men’s singles player, Ng Tze Yong, made it to the round of 16 at the Singapore Open, a Super 750 tournament, but World No. 10 Lee Zii Jia suffered a surprising defeat in three games against China’s Weng Hongyang, marking his third early exit this year.

Ng Tze Yong secured his third consecutive victory against Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen in the first round of the men’s singles with the score of 21-17, 18-21, 21-15. He displayed resilience in the deciding game despite a foot injury and managed to come back from a 2-4 deficit to win 21-15.

Highlights of Ng Tze Yong vs. Nhat Nguyen in 2023 Singapore Open first round:

In the next round, Ng Tze Yong will face Kunlavut Vitidsarn, the reigning Thailand Open champion and currently ranked 3rd in the world. This will be their second encounter since the Pembangunan Jaya Raya Junior Grand Prix 2018, where Vitidsarn emerged victorious in straight games.

Vitidsarn faced a tough challenge in the first round, battling for 68 minutes to secure a narrow victory of 21-15, 14-21, 28-26 against Taiwan’s World No. 28 Wang Tzu Wei, extending his winning streak to six matches.

Highlights of Lee Zii Jia vs. Weng Hongyang in 2023 Singapore Open first round:

On the other hand, Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia, had a difficult start as he fought hard for 74 minutes but ultimately lost to China’s left-handed player, Weng Hongyang, with a score of 20-22, 21-16, 19-21. Weng Hongyang will face his compatriot Li Shifeng, the 2023 All-England champion, in the next round.

Lee Zii Jia, ranked 10th in the world, had previously defeated Weng Hongyang in straight games at the semi-final of the Badminton Asia Championships last year, where he eventually clinched the championship. However, this time he fell short, marking his third early exit this year after the Malaysia Open and the 2023 Badminton Asia Championships.

Another Malaysian men’s singles player, Cheam June Wei, who qualified for the main draw as a replacement for Kento Momota, lost in the first round to Li Shifeng with a score of 16-21, 21-19, 14-21. This was Cheam’s second consecutive defeat to Li following his loss in the Thailand Open last week.

In the women’s singles, Taiwan’s world number three, Tai Tzu Ying, comfortably defeated Denmark’s Line Christophersen with scores of 21-15, 21-12. Tai, who won the Singapore Open in 2017 and 2019, will now face Indonesia’s top-ranked women’s singles player, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, in the next round. Tunjung was made to work before securing a victory of 21-11, 17-21, 21-16 against Zhang Beiwen of the USA.

Tai Tzu Ying holds a perfect 7-0 record against Tunjung in their previous encounters.

As the sole Malaysian representative in the women’s singles, Goh Jin Wei suffered a straight-set defeat of 11-21, 11-21 against China’s eighth-seeded player, Wang Ziyi, who will face Japan’s Natsuki Nidaira in the next round.

Malaysia’s Chen Tang Jie/Toh Ee Wei, Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai (mixed doubles), and Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles) also advanced to the second round respectively.

Ong/Teo will play Indonesian pair – Pramudya Kusumawardana/Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan, while Chen/Toh will meet Robin Tabeling/Selena Piek of Netherlands, and Goh/Lai will take on Reginald Lee Chun Hei/Ng Tsz Yau of Hong Kong on Thursday.

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