For the first time ever, Lee Zii Jia has the chance to win HSBC BWF World Tour titles in back-to-back weeks.
And he is not about to let the opportunity to make some personal history slip, especially after going 17 months without a title before his success at the Arctic Open last week.
Lee, who struggled with inconsistency this year, resulting in seven first round exits and a drop in world ranking from second to 18th, vowed after his 21-15 21-17 VICTOR Denmark Open 2023 semifinal win over Lee Cheuk Yiu: “I went through so much, now I’m in two straight finals. This time, I won’t let it go easily.
“I had a bad start to the year, and experienced seven first round exits. It was the worst performance of my career. My family, my team didn’t give up on me, they were always there to cheer me up, although sometimes I did stupid things. It’s part of the process but I must admit, I feel blessed to have them beside me. I hope this team will get stronger and stronger.
“These back-to-back tournaments I’ve done pretty well. I don’t know how long I can maintain this and it’s a big challenge but I want to grab this chance.”
Lee’s evolving mental makeup, and the return of a more singleminded approach, is evident.
“After I won in Finland, my team asked why I didn’t cry as it was a big breakthrough. But at that moment, I was only thinking (of going out and winning again),” said the 2021 All England champion.
On facing Weng Hong Yang for his first Super 750 title, the 25-year-old said: “He’s a rising star and he’s had a fantastic year. He will be a tough opponent.”
Weng advanced after ending senior compatriot Shi Yu Qi’s title defence in straight games – 21-19 21-14. The 24-year-old Chinese leads Lee 2-1 in their head-to-head.