Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei beat Sony Dwi of Indonesia on Thursday to become the first player to book their place in the quarter-finals of the men’s singles at the All-England Open.
The world No 1 from Malaysia came through 21-11, 21-17 against the Indonesian, a dangerous former winner of Olympic bronze and world silver medals who made an intriguing fight of the second game.
Lee’s athletic and carefully crafted victory took him within two wins of another possible meeting in the final with Lin Dan, whose triumph last year helped China to capture all five titles for the first time.
Lee said he was confident about the rest of the week. "I am getting better and better. The second set shows I have improved from yesterday," he said, referring to his slightly laboured first round win over Chetan Anand of India.
"Yesterday I wasn’t so good but today was better and the second set showed that. It’s a good to start early in the day and I was happier with the way my intensity and performance today."
But defending champion Lin Dan of China looked excellent the previous night as he coasted through in straight games against Christian Lind Thomsen, a Danish qualifier.
The top-seeded titleholder in the women’s singles, Wang Yihan, also came through without too many difficulties, by 21-16, 21-16 in a cagey match with Yu Hirayama, the Japanese qualifier.
"It takes a while to understand your opponent’s game, and both of us were trying to learn from each other," said Wang. "But I found a way."