Hong Kong Open: Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan edge closer to semi-final meeting with victories

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Lee Chong Wei eager to recover from his recent drop of form.
Lee Chong Wei eager to recover from his recent drop of form.

Hong Kong: The dream semi-final between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan at the 2017 Hong Kong Open is still on the cards after the Malaysian and the Chinese badminton legends both won their second-round matches on Thursday with something to spare.

After an easy first round match, the No. 8 seed Lee was being taken the distance in his second round match before beating Wei Nan of Hong Kong 21-23, 21-11, 21-12 in 54 minutes. Lee will play Son Wan-Ho of Korea in the final 8. The No. 2 seed Son Wan-Ho was also pushed to limit to overcome Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 11-21, 21-16, 21-12 in 62 minutes.

The No. 3 seed Lin Dan staged an action replay of his first-round victory over Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand by losing the first set to defending champion Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong before winning the next two by a narrow margin, beating Ng 17-21, 21-18, 22-20 in 62 minutes. Lin next faces No. 6 seed compatriot Shi Yuqi in the quarter-finals.

“I lost 0-2 to Ng at Hong Kong Open two years ago. I didn’t think too much when the score was tied at 20-20 in the decider, I was just fighting for the next point and playing with the right mentality. Fortunately I was able to clinch the match,” said Lin Dan.

“Of course, I hope I can prolong my career, I believe Lee Chong Wei is also thinking the same thing,” added Lin Dan.

The results mean that Lee and Lin both need to win just one more match in order to secure their semi-final showdown.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s men’s doubles pair Ong Yew Sin/Tan Wee Kiong also advanced to the quarter-finals by beating the Malaysia/Indonesia combo of Tan Boon Heong/Hendra Setiawan 17-21, 22-20 and 21-12 to set up a final 8 clash with No. 1 seed Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia next.

Another cross country men’s doubles pair between Lim Khim Wah of Malaysian and Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea also suffered a second round exit, bowing out to No. 4 seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen of China 20-22, 21-18 and 19-21.

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