Birmingham: Lee Zii Jia and Ng Tze Yong each advanced to 2023 All England quarter-finals at the Birmingham Arena on Thursday.
The World No. 4 Lee needed 40 minutes to see off World No. 15 Kenta Nishimoto 21-15, 21-10 to set up a quarter-final battle with another Japanese player – World No. 6 Kodai Naraoka.
Highlights of Lee Zii Jia vs. Kenta Nishimoto in the 2023 All England second round:
“I feel kind of relieved after the match because this is my best result this year, it means a lot to me,” said Lee.
When he was asked about his chances at the tournament since Viktor Axelesen has crashed out, Lee said he didn’t think that far.
“Well, I don’t think that far ahead, just trying to focus on every match,” added Lee.
Meanwhile, in his first career meeting against World No. 1 Viktor Axelesen, World No. 28 Ng Tze Yong emerged victorious in a three-set thriller, winning 21-15, 9-21, 23-21 in 69 minutes.
Highlights of Ng Tze Yong vs. Viktor Axelesen in the 2023 All England second round:
Beating the Tokyo Olympic champion was undoubtedly the biggest career win for the 22-year-old from Malaysia. His next opponent will be Li Shi Feng of China.
“I was concentrating on every single point and didn’t commit simple mistakes, and I am glad I can win the match today,” said Ng after the match.
“This is my second time in Birmingham, the first time was the Commonwealth Games, I feel quite excited,” added Ng.
As for Axelesen, he seemed to have a few tears in his eyes after the match.
“I put everything into this match, of course, I am emotional,” said Axelesen after the match.
“I want to congratulate Ng Tze Yong I think he played a great game. I wanted to do better, but today’s it wasn’t to be,” added Axelesen.
“It’s one of the most special tournaments for me, when you failed, it’s tough for me,” concluded Axelesen.
In mixed doubles, Malaysia’s World No. 6 Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing couldn’t finish the job when they were leading at 19-16 in the decider, as Tan kept making a series of unforced errors at the most crucial moment to eventually go down to World No. 16 Yuki Kaneko/Misaki Matsutomo of Japan 12-21, 21-11, 19-21.
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