Hoon Thien How/Lim Khim Wah, Lee Chong Wei survive scares in Canada Open

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Lee Chong Wei advances into Canada Open semi-finals.

Calgary: Malaysia’s independent men’s doubles pair Hoon Thien How/Lim Khim Wah won their quarter-finals match on Friday, but not before surviving a scare from Taiwanese pair Chang Ko-Chi/Wang Tzu Wei at the Canada Open.Lee Chong Wei advances into Canada Open semi-finals.

The Malaysian pair played a dominant first set, blew past Chang Ko-Chi/Wang Tzu Wei with 21-8.  At the start of the second set, Hoon/Lim dug themselves into a deep hole when they made a couple of easy errors to fall behind 1-7. The Malaysian pair then rallied from behind to level the score at 19-19,  but it was perhaps a little too late and the Taiwanese pair went on to win the second set 21-19. Hoon/Lim did not give any chance whatsoever to Chang/Wang in the decider, as the Malaysian pair ramped up their performance to eliminate their opponents 21-14. Hoon/Lim will take on Huang Kaixiang/Wang Sijie of China in the men’s doubles semi-finals on Saturday.

Former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei stayed on track to capture his back-to-back men’s singles titles in two weeks, when Lee spent 51 minutes fighting off B. Sai Praneeth in an intense quarter-final. Lee beat tenth seed B. Sai Praneeth 21-13 in the first set comfortably. However, Praneeth found a sudden surge of brilliance when he trailed 12-16 in the second set, en route to winning the set 21-18 and forcing a decider. Lee became much attacking than normal in the rubber game and was able to dictate play with his relentlessly aggressive shot making. Lee finally edged past Praneeth with 21-11 in the third set to move into the last four of the Canada Open where he will meet Japan’s Takuma Ueda.

In a men’s singles thriller that lasted 77 minutes, sixth seed Takuma Ueda of Japan battled past second seed Xue Song of China 19-21, 21-18, 21-17 to reach the semi-finals.

The number one seed in men’s singles, Marc Zwiebler of Germany produced a convincing 21-16, 21-15 win over ninth seed Ajay Jayaram of India on Friday. The German is set to play Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong on Saturday.

Third seeds Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa of India got the better of Kaka Chan Tsz Ka/Yuen Sin Ying to win the women’s doubles quarter-finals match. The Indian duo will face-off against Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto of Japan in the semi-finals. Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto defeated compatriots Shizuka Matsuo/Mami Naito 23-25, 21-15, 21-13 on Friday.

Although Sayaka Takahashi was stretched further beyond the limit by compatriot Aya Ohori in the women’s singles quarter-finals. Yet, Takahashi managed to see off Ohori 29-27 in the first set, before she overcame the resilient Ohori 21-18 in the second set.

Home favorite third seed Michelle Li was forced to dig deep at women’s singles quarter-finals against Pai Yu Po of Taiwan on Friday; the Canadian eventually prevailed to the semi-finals, clinching a hard fought triumph over the Taiwanese with 20-22, 21-14, 21-18.

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