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Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong competes against China’s Zhao Junpeng during their men’s singles quarter-final at the Indonesia Open. Photo: AP

Indonesia Open: Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk-yiu crashes out in quarter-finals after defeat by China’s Zhao Junpeng

  • Hong Kong’s last remaining hope in Jakarta runs out of steam, with coach insisting he must improve his fitness to reach ‘highest level’
  • China dominate in women’s singles, with three players through to the semi-finals

Hong Kong’s hopes at the Indonesia Open came to an end on Thursday, with Lee Cheuk-yiu crashing out in the quarter-finals of the men’s singles at the hands of China’s Zhao Junpeng.

After losing the opening game, Lee fought back to level the match but ultimately lost 21-14, 17-21, 21-11 in Jakarta, where a hefty total prize fund of US$1.2 million is on offer.

Zhao, who reached the last eight of the 2021 World Championships six months ago, pulled away in the deciding game with Lee seemingly running out of stamina.

China’s Zhao Junpeng competes against Lee Cheuk Yiu. Photo: AP

“Lee did very well in the second game when he pulled one back, but he made too many unforced errors in the third which killed off any hope,” Hong Kong head coach Tim He Yiming said.

“This is mainly because his fitness level dropped tremendously in the third, and he gifted the opponent the victory. We need to work on this if Lee wants to improve to reach the highest level. This is very important.”

Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong competes against China’s Zhao Junpeng. Photo: AP

In the women’s singles, two unseeded Chinese players set up a semi-final showdown after routing their seeded opponents.

Wang Zhiyi proved that her two previous victories over world No 1 Akane Yamaguchi were no fluke, beating the top seed 21-19, 21-14. World No 14 Wang was crowned the Asian champion in Manila last month, after a gruelling 2-1 victory over the Japanese shuttler.

World No 9 He Bingjiao then battled past third seed An Se-young 15-21, 21-17, 21-14, racking up her fourth career victory over the South Korean.

Jongkolphan Kithitharakul (left) and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand celebrate after defeating China’s Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan, the world No 1 pair and Tokyo Olympic champions, at the Indonesia Open. Photo: AP

There could be an all-China final in the women’s singles, with Tokyo Olympic champion Chen Yufei also reaching the last four.

She beat Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in straight games – 21-16, 21-10 – after only 33 minutes.

However China’s world No 1 doubles pairing were far from impressive on Thursday, with Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan losing their quarter-final clash against the Thai duo of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai in straight games, 21-19, 21-15.