Incheon: World number Lee Chong Wei was forced to rally from a one-set deficit before overcoming gallant Vietnamese unseeded Nguyen Tien Minh 21-23, 21-16, 21-17 in 75 minutes to book a place in the men’s singles semi-finals, where he will meet his long-time nemesis Lin Dan on Sunday.
In the first set, the 30-year-old Nguyen Tien Minh, fended off a barrage of Lee smashes as he took the first game but Lee won the second, pushing Nguyen around with mid-court and net shots.
Lee squandered a 12-4 lead in the third as Nguyen battled back to 17-17 before two crucial shots bounced back off the net cord and Lee finally took the game.
“Today I didn’t play so well,” Lee said after the grueling match where both sweat-drenched players kept changing their shirts and frequently toweling their faces.
“The first game was point for point . Both of us were very tired so I tried to speed up my game in second game,” added Lee Chong Wei.
In another quarter-finals, Lin Dan advanced after easing past Japan’s Kenichi Tago 21-14, 21-18.
“Before I went out on court I heard Lee Chong Wei told Chinese reporters that he had lost many games against me before, so he has nothing to lose,” said two-time Olympic champion Lin. “I have nothing to lose either,” said Lin Dan.
“I don’t know when I or Lee Chong Wei will retire, so I cherish every opportunity to play against him,” added Lin Dan.
Chen Long of China will play Wei Nan from Hong Kong in the other semi-finals.
In women’s doubles, Japanese favorites Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo face Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari in the women’s doubles final.
China has virtually secured the women’s singles gold after Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan both advanced to the final. Li defeated Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei 21-16, 24-26, 21-8 in the semi-finals, while Wang upset local favorite Bae Yeon-ju 21-10, 12-21, 21-16 for a place in the championship match.
The home favorite Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong roared past unseeded Malaysians Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong 21-6, 21-15 in 36 minutes to set up an exciting men’s doubles final clash with world number two pair Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia. Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan won a hard-fought three-sets victory over Kim Sa-rang and Kim Gi-jung of Korea 19-21, 21-16, 21-18 in 55 minutes.
Here are the Asian Games mixed doubles quarter-finals results:
Xu Chen-Ma Jin (CHN) bt Danny Bawa Chrisnanta- Vanessa Neo (SIN) 21-12, 21-15
Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto (INA) bt Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na (KOR) 21-9, 9-21, 21-15
Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (CHN) bt Chen Hung Ling-Cheng Wen Hsing (TPE) 21-17, 21-15
Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (INA) bt Shin Baek-cheol-Chang Ye-na (KOR) 19-21, 21-16, 21-9