THE listless play of the first round was a thing of the past as Lee Chong Wei cruised into the quarter-finals of the Korea Open in Seoul yesterday.
Up next for him is local favourite Park Sung Hwan but if yesterday’s form is any indication, a place in the semi-finals belongs to the Malaysian.
Chong Wei was ruthless as he thrashed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-14, 21-9 in just 20 minutes.
It will be a repeat of the Malaysia Open final against Sung Hwan, who also had an impressive 21-12, 21-4 win over Japan’s Sho Sasaki in 21 minutes.
Sung Hwan will be seeking revenge but Chong Wei will be unperturbed as he has lost only lost once in nine meetings with the Korean.
However, World No 1 Chong Wei can’t expect to have it as easy as he did in the , the World No 1, had an easy 21-14, 21-13 win in the Malaysia Open final, today as but it won’t be that easy today as Sung Hwan will be looking to capitalise on home ground advantage.
National singles coach Rashid Sidek, in a telephone interview from Seoul, said Chong Wei has set a high standard for himself and must be ready to face the challenge.
“Chong Wei has the advantage in terms of past meetings and has just beaten him. (in the Malaysia Open). Chong Wei has set high standards and he must safeguard his reputation,” said Rashid.
“It is definitely going to be tougher this time as Sung Hwan will be banking on home ground advantage but as a top player, Chong Wei must be prepared to face challenges in every situation.
“Winning against Sung Hwan is almost certain to give him a place in the final as he only has to face either Chan Yan Kit (of Hong Kong) or (Poland’s Przemyslaw) Wacha in the last four.
“He played well in the second round today (yesterday) and the opponent wasn’t strong but it will be different in the quarter-finals.”