KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 – It was a painful exit for Malaysian hope Lee Zii Jia in the men’s singles final at the Hylo Open in Saarbrucken, Germany on Sunday when the 23-year-old retired in the rubber game with a lower back injury.
The final against Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew was poised for a thriller when each player won a game.
Zii Jia took the first game 21-19 but the Penang-born Kean Yew won the second 21-13 to force the decider.
In the rubber game Zii Jia, the reigning All-England champion, was down 12-17 when he retired 18 minutes in the game.
Zii Jia fell flat on his stomach midway in the second game and that probably hurt his back as he was seen finding difficulty in his movements on court and gave away easy points.
During the mid-game break in the decider Zii Jia called for medical treatment but it was clear that the spray did not do him any good. For the record, Kean Yew himself needed courtside treatment for a bleeding knuckle.
Kean Yew pocketed USD24,000 in prize money while Zii Jia settled for USD12,160 for his efforts.
The Malaysian number one has now left a big question mark if he will make the trip to Indonesia for the Indonesia Masters (Nov 16-21) and the Indonesia Open (Nov 23-28) before the season-ending World Tour Finals,in Bali.
For Kean Yew it is his first World Tour Super 500 title and many will take note that the Singaporean has shown that he is a player who can take on the best in the world.
He had beaten Zii Jia 24-22, 21-14 in the first round in last month’s French Open.
Earlier in the women’s singles final Singapore hope Yeo Jian Min was beaten by Thailand’s  fifth seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan who won 21-10, 21-14in 35 minutes.
In the men’s doubles final, which was an all-Indonesia affair. World No 1 and top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo beat world junior champions Leo RallyCarnando-Daniel Marthin 21-14, 21-19 for the title.
The women’s doubles title went to Chisato Hori-Aoi Matsuda who defeated compatriots Rin Iwanaga-Kie Nakanishi 22-02, 21-18 in an all-Japanese final.
Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai, the top seeds, won the mixed doubles final – defeating second seeds Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesia in straight games 22-20, 21-14.

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