World No. 11 Lee Zii Jia got his revenge against China’s Weng Hong Yang in the French Open first round.
Three days after falling to Hong Yang in the Denmark Open final, Zii Jia bounced back with a stellar performance against the world No. 19, winning 21-15, 21-11 in 45 minutes at Rennes’ Glaz Arena.
The victory holds special significance for Zii Jia as it was his maiden win at the French Open. Despite debuting in 2019, Zii Jia fell in the opening round in his three previous appearances.
Boosted by this triumph, Zii Jia, who won the Arctic Open title two weeks ago, will head into his next match against reigning Asian Games champion, Li Shi Feng of China, with heightened confidence.
Meanwhile World No. 18 Ng Tze Yong made quick work of Dutch veteran, Mark Caljouw, winning 21-9, 21-9.
Tze Yong’s next challenger will be home favourite, Arnaud Merkle, with a quarter-final spot at stake.
Despite being ranked No. 44, Merkle proved his mettle by taking down India’s Lakhsya Sen 21-15, 21-18.
In the men’s doubles, world No. 20 Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun’s inconsistency surfaced again as they suffered their second first-round defeat in consecutive weeks. They were beaten 21-18, 18-21, 21-15 by Denmark’s world No. 25 Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard.
This was particularly disappointing, given that they had also stumbled in the Denmark Open first round the previous week.
Wei Chong and Kai Wun had started their European campaign on a promising note two weeks ago, finishing as runners-up at the Arctic Open.
In the mixed doubles, both Malaysian pairs, world No. 9 Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei and world No. 14 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie, advanced to the last 16.
Tang Jie-Ee Wei secured a comfortable 21-12, 21-15 victory over Denmark’s Mads Vestergaard-Christin Busch while Soon Huat-Shevon ousted Taiwan’s Yang Po Hsuan-Hu Ling Fang 21-9, 21-8 in 24 minutes.
Both pairs will face Hong Kong opponents next, with Tang Jie-Ee Wei squaring off against Reginald Lee-Ng Tsz Yau while Soon Huat-Shevon will challenge two-time World Championships bronze medallists Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet.