Birmingham, England – Lee Zii Jia shocked two-time world champion Kento Momota to reach the semifinals of the All England Open on Friday.
The Malaysian beat the world No. 1 21-16, 21-19 to end Momota’s highly anticipated return to international action this week.
The pair went blow-for-blow until the interval, taken at 11-8. Lee surged on from there, matching Momota’s razor-sharp movement to win seven straight points and take the first game.
The 22-year-old drove home his advantage, grabbing an 11-6 lead at the break in a white-knuckle second game in the empty arena in Birmingham.
Lee saw a net cord go his way to make it 20-19 and he went on to seal the match against the 2019 champion.
“I’ve never beaten him before, so this is a very special moment for me,” said the Malaysian, who has long been an avid follower of Momota. “I did a lot of studying about Momota. Every time I played him, it seems like there’s a big gap between us.
“I always discuss about what strategy I have to play against him, we worked a lot on that. Today is a big win for us.”
In the women’s event, Nozomi Okuhara beat Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 18-21, 21-8, 21-16.
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