Taipei: Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei will face off in a Friday quarter-final against world No. 1 Chen Long, whom he lost to in last year’s World Championship final at Copenhagen.
In his first match on Thursday, the unseeded Lee Chong Wei produced a solid performance against tenth seed Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia by winning the first set with 21-12. While Lee trailed for most of the second set, he picked up his game when it mattered, rallying from 13-18 down to reel off the next 8 points to survive the stirring challenge from Sugiarto.
In the men’s singles third round match that was held later in the day, the former world No. 1 Malaysian continued his dominant display to brush aside a helpless Wang Zhengming of China to reserve his place in the last eight. After the victory, Lee enjoyed a 13-0 head-to-head career lead over the 25-year-old Wang.
Lee Chong Wei will collide with world champion Chen Long of China in a mouthwatering quarter-final on Friday. The quarter-final showdown will be their first fight since Chen Long defeated Lee Chong Wei in the 2014 world championships final match. Chen was in formidable form as he eased into the quarter-final by eliminated Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei 21-16, 21-2 in 44 minutes.
“In the past, I faced tremendous pressure of being surpassed by others, and now, the roles have been reversed. It allowed me to see more clearly, and perhaps to feel refreshed for the tournament season,” said Lee.
“The Chinese Taipei Open has been regarded as a warm-up tournament by many prior to the World Championships in August. Almost all the world’s top ten players are here, it’s definitely a very challenging tournament,” stressed Lee.
“In the past to face the pressure of being chased, and now it is the roles were reversed, it allowed me to see more clearly, and perhaps come back to play again refreshing the reason.”
Defending men’s singles champion Lin Dan had to work hard to hold on to his lead before swatting away South Korean Lee Dong Keun who kept closing on Lin Dan. Lin eventually came out on top in the second round competition with 21-18, 21-15 victory. Lin then edged a resilient Lu Chia Hung of Chinese Taipei in the third round 21-16, 21-15 to face Ginting Anthony of Indonesia in quarter-final.
South Korea’s Jeon Hyeok Jin who picked up the 2015 Universiade men’s title four days ago by defeating compatriot, world No. 9 Son Wan Ho, repeated his stellar Universiade form to beat Son Wan Ho again, winning 21-16, 21-16 in the second round of Chinese Taipei Open. Unfortunately, Jeon succumbed to Wei Nan of Hong Kong in straight sets in the third round.
In women’s singles, Ratchanok Intanon, Li Xuerui, Wang Yihan, Wang Shixian, Tai Tzu Ying all secured berths in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, all Malaysian doubles pairs were knocked out of the competitions after the last three Malaysian hopes, Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong lost to Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi of Indonesia 12-21, 21-13, 15-21, Mak Hee Chun/Teo Kok Siang lost their second round match to fifth seeds Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan 12-21, 8-21, and the women’s doubles eighth seeds Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei were upset by unseeded Go Ah Ra/Yoo Hae Won of Korea 21-16,21-16.