Lee Chong Wei downs Viktor Axelsen to reach Malaysia Open semis

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Lee Chong Wei has a 16-0 career meeting record against Tommy Sugiarto ahead of the Malaysia Open semi-final. (photo: AP)
Lee Chong Wei has a 16-0 career meeting record against Tommy Sugiarto ahead of the Malaysia Open semi-final. (photo: AP)

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian badminton superstar World No. 6 Lee Chong Wei stayed on course for his 12th Malaysia Open title when he booked his semi-final spot and extended his season win streak to 2 second straight matches against World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark with a 21-17, 21-9 victory on Friday.

This gave Lee the 11-3 career meeting advantage over the Dane.

“The victory was not as easy as it seemed. He gave up when I was leading 11-6 in the second set and I continued to up my rhythm to score points,” said Lee.

“We have been studying his strengths and weaknesses since I’ve lost to him three straight times. As a professional badminton player, I have to continuously strive to improve my skills and to remain competitive,” added Lee.

Lee will next face Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia after the unseeded Indonesian reached his first BWF World Tour Super 750 semi-final with a 13-21, 21-13, 21-13 victory against No. 3 see Shi Yuqi of China, who had knocked out Lin Dan in the previous round.

Meanwhile, Kento Momota who slipped one spot to World No. 10 in this week’s Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings, was playing in spectacular form as he left his Taiwanese opponent, No. 6 seed Chou Tien Chen clueless in the second set, claiming his Malaysia Open quarter-final match 21-19, 21-11. Momota will clash with No. 4 seed Kidambi Srikanth of India in the semi-final.

In men’s doubles, China’s He Jiting/Tan Qiang produced the biggest upset on Friday, beating the World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia 21-17, 21-11 in just 30 minutes. He/Tan will play No. 6 seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda of Japan on Saturday. The Japanese pair spoiled Goh/Tan’s hope of making to the semi-final before the home crowd, overcoming the Malaysian pair 21-9, 21-17.

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