Paris: Former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei reached his first French Open final in four years as he needed 36 minutes to fly by world No. 9 Wang Zhengming of China 21-7, 21-13 in the semi-finals.
The unseeded Lee, in remarkably sublime form at the age of 33, continued his formidable French Open run and never let up the pressure on No. 3 shuttler from the Chinese team in a semi-final demolition. The victory brought Lee’s head to head record against Wang to 15-0.
The trouncing set up a delectable showdown in Sunday’s final against No. 6 seed Taiwanese Chou Tien Chen, whom for the first time, both players will play against each other in the international tournament.
Chou, pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament on Saturday when he shocked No. 2 seed Jan Jorgensen of Denmark 21-11, 21-19 to advance to the men’s finals in 39 minutes.
After the remarkable trashing of their countrymen No. 4 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen in the quarter-finals, unseeded Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark continued their stellar performance to pull off another upset on Saturday by dispatching No. 2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 21-18, 19-21, 21-15 in 60 minutes.
The Denmark pair will play No. 1 seeds Lee Yong-Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea for the men’s doubles crown on Sunday. Lee/Yoo sent compatriots Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang packing in other men’s doubles semis, winning 21-18, 21-18.
Women’s singles semi-finals between No. 8 seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and No. 4 seed Wang Shixian was grueling tests of stamina having played a lot of never-ending marathon rallies. Wang eventually survived the 3-setter to seal a final berth with a 21-13, 11-21, 21-19 triumph in 78 minutes. Wang will clash with No. 2 seed Carolina Marin of Spain in the women’s singles finals on Sunday.
Carolina Marin proved too strong for No. 3 seed Tai Tzu Ying to win the semi-finals 21-17, 21-17 in 51 minutes.
Meanwhile, Korean pair Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Hana and Indonesian pair Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto are set to face off in the mixed doubles finals on Sunday.
Lee Chong Wei vs Wang Zhengming
Ratchanok Intanon vs Wang Shixian