HONG KONG, Nov. 13 — Top-seeded Lee Chong Wei struggled into the semifinal of the men’s single event at the HongKong Badminton Open here on Friday while the women’s single title was already reserved by the Chinese women.
Malaysia’s Lee, top-ranked in the world, edged out his compatriot Muhammad Hafiz Hashim with 10-21, 21-15, 24-22.
"It was not a good day for me," said Lee, who had rested for nearly two months for an injury in his left knee before coming back to court here in Hong Kong. "I’ve just been back from injury, so I was cautious when moving on court while Hafiz did an excellent job today, which I think was his best performance ever among our clashes."
"This was good for me and for our national team, as we need a really strong second single for the Thomas Cup next year," He added.
China’s Bao Chunlai set up an conflict with Lee in the semifinal by winning over Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka from Indonesia with 21-15, 21-15.
The third-ranked Peter Gade eased past Indonesia’s Simon Santoso with 21-12, 21-8 to enter the semifinal. The Denish star controlled the second game, leaving no chance for the young opponent who upset his compatriot Taufik Hidayat on Thursday with a surprising score of 21-13, 21-6.
"I am glad to beat him with such a score," said Gade. "I knew that if I kept on putting pressure on him and don’t let go every point, he’s gonna break. And he broke early than I expected."
The 32-year-old Gade would meet Kenichi Tago from Japan for the final.
"Kenichi is a young guy and I have never lost to him," said Gade. "After all, Lin Dan is not here, then it’s nobody."
Lin Dan, the Olympic Champion and World Champion from China, had pulled out of the tournament beforehand due to a slight injury in his right calf.
In the women’s single event, top seed Wang Lin beat Bae Seung Hee from South Korea and Wang Xin made a surprising win against fifth seed Pi Hongyan of France with 21-13, 21-18, nailing the gold medal for China.
Wang Lin would meet Jiang Yanjiao while Wang Xin would challenge World No. 1 Wang Yihan in the semifinals.
In the women’s doubles semifinals, three Chinese pairs would try to stop the top-seed Chin Eei Hui/Wong Pei Tty from Malaysia while South Korea’s Jung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae, third-seed of the tournament, was the highest seed left in the top four.