Tokyo: Lee Chong Wei was through to the Japan Open semifinals, while No. 7 seed Lin Dan was headed home.
The fifth-seeded Lee cruised past Taiwan’s No. 4 seed Chou Tien Chen 21-11, 15-21, 21-19 in Friday’s quarterfinal match at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Lee had to work extremely hard, coming back from 10-15 to claim the decider.
“I’m slowly improving and regaining my confidence with each match and hopefully I will play another good match tomorrow to reach the final,” said Lee.
Lee, who is also the six-time Japan Open winner, will take on Shi Yuqi of China in the semi-final after the No. 2 seed defeated India’s HS Prannoy 21-15, 21-14.
In the other quarter-final, two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China, who came into the tournament on the back of a runners-up performance at the World Championships last month, was overpowered by World No. 1 Son Wan-Ho of Korea, losing 15-21, 15-21 in 41 minutes.
Son will meet World Champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the semi-final. Axelsen who outlasted Lin Dan to win his maiden World title last month, edged past Kidambi Srikanth of India 21-17, 21-17 to enter the semi-finals.
In men’s doubles, No. 3 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia came back from 18-20 in the second set to beat Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark 21-19, 22-20. The Indonesians will face No. 2 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen of Denmark who defeated them in the Korea Open final last Sunday in the semi-final.
Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi ended their partnership in the Japan open quarterfinal, crashed out of the tournament in the last eight by losing to Japan’s Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko 21-15, 21-18.