Hong Kong: Former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and current world No. 1 Chen Long of China will square off for the 23rd time in their career in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open on Friday.
The unseeded Lee, who is contesting for his third Superseries title of the season and his 41th overall, continued his impressive progress in the men’s second round to sweep aside German Marc Zwiebler 21-12, 21-12 in 38 minutes.
On the other hand, top seed Chen Long was taken to third set by Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana before sealing a 19-21, 21-8, 21-13 win in 58 minutes of the Hong Kong Open men’s second round. This was the tenth time the two players have met and the closest the 33-year-old Ponsana has come to a win over the world number one since his two victories against Chen back in 2010.
Lee who shattered Chen’s dream of a third China Open title in last week’s final, will surely be given a tough match by Chen who is seeking revenge for his defeat. It’s worth noting that their highly-anticipated showdown has already generated a lot of excitement in the badminton circles.
Having narrowly averted a first round exit yesterday, two-time Olympic champion and No. 3 seed Lin Dan slumped to a stunning two-set defeat against Angus Ng Ka Long of China on Thursday, losing 8-21, 18-21 in 33 minutes.
Another Malaysian men’s shuttler Chong Wei Feng bowed out of the tournament after he was defeated by Wang Zhengming of China 21-12, 21-14. Wang will play compatriot Tian Houwei for a spot in the semi-finals.
In men’s doubles, Malaysian pair Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong maintained their undefeated record against the 2014 world champions Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Choel of Korea, winning 22-20, 21-18 in 32 minutes. Goh/Tan will take on No. 6 seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei on Friday. Chai and Hong were taken to the limit before coming through for a 21-17, 21-23, 21-16 victory over former world No. 1 Malaysians Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong on Thursday.
In women’s singles, top seed Carolina Marin advanced to the quarter-finals despite suffering an injury scare on her way to a one-sided 21-19, 21-8 win over 18-year-old Akane Yamaguchi. Marin will face Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand next. No. 3 seed Sung Ji Hyun of Korea and No. 8 seed Wang Yihan will take on each other for a spot in the women’s semi-final.