Kuala Lumpur: There will be five great final matchups at the Malaysia Open on Sunday, but perhaps none has badminton fans excited more than Lee Chong Wei versus Chen Long in the men’s singles event.
Lee Chong Wei who is eyeing his 11th Malaysia Open title, had a relatively easy passage to the final as he blew World No.5 Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark away in straight sets, 21-17, 21-14 to reach the final.
On the contrary, World No. 1 Chen Long was stretched to the limit by young Indonesian player Jonatan Christie before edging an 8-21, 21-19 and 21-14 victory against the 19-year-old Indonesian in 55 minutes.
The last time Lee Chong Wei defeated Chen Long was in the quarter-finals of last year’s Hong Kong Open, where he beat Chen 21-13 19-21 15-21 in 86 minutes. However, in their 23 head-to-head meetings, Chen Long has 12-11 advantage over Lee.
“The match against Chen Long will be tough. I have to stay confident and I am aiming to win my 11th Malaysia Open title,” said Lee.
As for Chen, he has promised a good showing in the final.
“It’s hard to stay in shape in every game, but I was lucky today,” said Chen.
“I will try my best in the final even though I know I am against a tough crowd,” added Chen.
In the mixed doubles semi-finals, Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying claimed their first ever victory over China’s No. 1 seeds Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei, winning 24-26, 21-15, 21-13. Chan/Goh will take on second seeds Tontowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia next. The Indonesian pair had defeated Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen 21-18, 21-17 in the other semi-final.
In women’s competition, Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei will clash with Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
Meanwhile, both men’s doubles and women’s doubles finals will be an affair between the Chinese and South Korean shuttlers.
Chai Biao/Hong Wei will play Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang in the men’s doubles final after defeating Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark 26-24, 21-19, while Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang saw off No. 1 seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong 21-16, 21-12.
For women’s doubles, Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang of China will face South Koreans Jung Kyung Eun/Shin Seung Chan in the final.