Jakarta: Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei advanced into his fourth straight world championships men’s singles final in Jakarta on Saturday, after edging a resilient No. 2 Jan O. Jorgensen of Denmark 21-7, 21-19 in 42 minutes.
Even though Lee is unseeded at this year’s world meet, he is enjoying a strong run of form as he managed to dismiss four seeded opponents en route to the world championships final. However, he’ll have to clear one last hurdle called “Chen Long” in order win his maiden world crown.
“Last year and this year are very different, this may be my last opportunity to win the world title, I will do my best to make it count this time,” said 32-year-old Lee.
“There is definitely pressure, but I think I can handle it. Reaching the final of World Championships is very special, especially after an eight-month suspension,” added Lee.
In other men’s singles semi-finals, defending champion and No. 1 seed Chen Long dismantled Japan’s Kento Momota 21-9, 21-15 in 52 minutes. However, he admitted it would be a tough task to defend his world title this year.
“I am mentally and tactically ready for the final. Lee Chong Wei and I have played each other for so many times, but it is going to be very difficult to play him in Jakarta,” said Chen.
For a second year in a row it will be an all-Chinese affair in the finals of the mixed doubles.
Top-ranked mixed doubles pair Zhang Nang and Zhao Yunlei were on the brink of elimination, after they lost their first set 20-22, and were trailed by 18-20 in the second set against Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia. Nevertheless, the Chinese pair able to picked themselves up and roared back to win the second set 23-21, and trashing the demoralized Indonesian pair 21-12 in the third set. They will play fourth seeded Chinese pair Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin who beat their second seeded compatriots Xu Chen and Ma Jin 21-13, 15-21, 21-19 in other mixed semi-finals.
Playing in front a loud sellout home crowd inside the Istora Senayan Complex, local heroes Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan played a speedy, and aggressive badminton in the men’s doubles semi-finals against No. 1 seeds Lee Yong-Dae/Yoo Yeon-Seong on Saturday. Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan showed the kind of no-nonsense play on Saturday that allowed them dominating the match from the start to the end, defeating the Koreans 21-17, 21-19 in 46 minutes. Ahsan/Setiawan will take on Chinese pair Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan for the men’s doubles title. Liu/Qiu overcame No. 6 seeds Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan 21-16, 21-23, 22-20 in an hour 25 minutes to book a final berth.