KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei did enough to preserve his unbeaten home record in the Super Series Finals at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras on Friday.
The 31-year-old Chong Wei, who had already qualified for the semi-finals from Group A on Thursday, wanted a win against Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen to qualify as the group winner.
Although the powerful Dane pushed hard, Chong Wei was just too good as he picked up a 23-21, 24-22 win in 50 minutes.
It was his longest match in the Finals so far but the three time champion from 2008-2010 was never really troubled.
“I knew that win or lose I would still be in the semi-finals so I didn’t push myself too hard,” said Chong Wei.
“But I still wanted to win because it’s always better to finish top of the group.
“It’s good though that I managed to conserve some energy because there is another tough match tomorrow … regardless of who I play.
“I could face Jorgensen again in the semi-finals but it doesn’t matter because I’ll still be making the same preparations before the match.”
Jorgensen finished second in Group A but a redraw format for the semi-finals means the Dane could meet Chong Wei again.
In Group B, Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto earned a lucky break into the semi-finals after compatriot Sony Dwi Kuncoro withdrew from the competition with a leg injury.
Sony, who was in pole position to qualify for the semi-finals along with Japan’s Kenichi Tago, hurt his leg whilst getting off the bus at the stadium.
In the women’s singles, Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying continued her superb form in Malaysia after stunning world No. 5 Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea 10-21, 21-12, 21-15 to finish second in Group A.
“In the first game I was in shock as I lost too many points in quick succession … the wind was not helping either,” said the Malaysian Open champion.
“But I didn’t let that stop me and it’s great to make the semi-finals. It’s a rather pleasant surprise as well.”
In Group B, India’s Saina Nehwal registered her first win of the tournament, beating South Korea’s Bae Yeon-ju 21-11, 17-21, 21-13.
But she missed out on the semi-finals on countback by games won-lost. Yeon-ju will instead join Olympic champion Li Xuerui in the last four.