MANY badminton fans who earlier backed national men’s singles ace Lee Zii Jia to turn professional in early 2022 are probably having second thoughts if the Kedah-born shuttler has made the right choice to depart from the sports’ national umbrella body, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
One wonders if fans have the patience for Zii Jia who has remained coachless since parting company with Indra Wijaya in November, to experiment with the right blend of strategy to both re-invent his game and maximise his true potential.
“I need to try to find a strategy that suits me. You can see (Viktor) Axelsen has already found his. That’s why he has such a stable performance all the way,” he told the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in a recent interview.
To make matters worse, speculation now abounds that Indra, who was a former Indonesian star, wants to take legal action against Zii Jia for breach of contract. However, when contacted by the Sports Desk of the New Straits Times (NST), Indra neither denied nor confirmed the possible suit against his former player.
Despite being crowned Asian champion and winning the Thailand Open in May 2022, Zii Jia’s form plunged in the second half of last year.
Zii Jia who aims to win three championships in 2023, has thus far drawn flak for exiting three tournaments in a row in the preliminary stages, the latest being the second round of the on-going Indonesian Masters, where he went down 21-16, 20-22, 13-21 to Hong Kong’s Angus Ng.
The 24-year-old shuttler who is dubbed the successor of Datuk Lee Chong Wei, has dropped two rungs to world No. 4 after his loss in the second round of the India Open last week to unheralded Chinese player Li Shifeng.
The defeat came soon after his first-round exit at the Malaysian Open to rising Japanese star Kodai Naraoka: 21-13, 17-21, 19-21.
Well, below are the views of some badminton fans as NST broke the news of a potential legal suit coming Zii Jia’s way from Indra following their break-up. — Jan 28, 2023
Main photo credit: MSN