KUALA LUMPUR: The home fans will be rooting for an all-Malaysian men’s singles semi-final between Lee Chong Wei and Liew Daren.
But Chong Wei is more fancied to advance than Daren in quarter-final matches against Indonesian Simon Santoso and Dane Peter Gade-Christensen respectively at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
Yesterday, Chong Wei defeated Vietnamese Nguyen Tien Minh 21-9, 18-21, 21-7 in a second-round match that saw the world number one struggling to adapt to the draught in the stadium in the second game. And Daren continued a fairy tale run in his home Open, blowing away a toothless Hsueh Hsuan-yi of Taiwan 21-14, 21-12.
Although Choong Wei had to slog for the win over Tien Minh, the top seed and defending champion felt that he was playing better by the day.
“I got off to a good start but found it hard to cope with the draught. I tried to catch up after losing my momentum but that did not happen and I decided to conserve energy for the rubber,” he said.
On his match against Simon, Chong Wei said that he would have to tread with caution.
“Our last meeting was at the Singapore Open and I defeated him easily. But that does not mean that I will have it easy again. I have to be careful,” he said.
“Simon is an attacking player and I know what to expect from him tomorrow. The main thing is to stay focused.”
Simon, who steamrolled Mohd Hafiz Hashim to win the second-round match 21-5, 21-10, said that he was more prepared now to play against Chong Wei.
“I was going through a low in my career until I won the Taiwan Open (after the Beijing Olympics last August). That gave me a lot of confidence in my game,” he said.
“I got ill for the last two months but things are looking better for me now. I will be ready to give Chong Wei a good fight. It will be tough because he is the world number one but I will try.”
Daren, whose confidence was boosted tremendously with a stunning first-round win over Thai No. 1 Boonsak Ponsana, wants another prized scalp but it won’t be easy against two-time winner Gade-Christensen.
“It’s great to make my first quarter-final in an Open international tournament. I am more focused. I think, I can play better now because my fitness has improved,” he said.
“I have learnt so much from Chong Wei in training. It will be difficult against Peter but I will throw in all I have to score another big upset.”
Gade-Christensen was excited over a match billed to prevent an all-Malaysian semi-final.
“It is going to be fun to play against Daren. I am sure the home crowd will be rooting for him. I have seen him play when I brought a group of juniors here a couple of years ago. His attacking play is good,” said the Danish veteran.
“I came here for an opportunity to play against Chong Wei again. It is my aim to beat him and Lin Dan this year. So I will give my best against the Malaysian back-up player.”
* Malaysian unless stated
Men’s singles: Simon Santoso (Ina) bt Mohd Hafiz Hashim 21-5, 21-10; Liew Daren bt Hsueh Hsuan-yi (Tpe) 21-14, 21-12; Park Sung-hwan (Kor) bt Kuan Beng Hong 21-23, 21-17, 15-3 rtd; Hsieh Yu-hsin (Tpe) bt Wacha Przemyslaw (Pol) 6-21, 21-10, 21-12; Peter Gade-Christensen (Den) bt Chetan Anand (Ind) 21-7, 21-8; Lee Chong Wei bt Nguyen Tien Minh (Vie) 21-9, 18-21, 21-7; Chan Yan Kit (Hkg) bt Dicky Palyama (Ned) 21-10, 21-17; Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) bt Anup Sridhar (Ind) 21-12, 21-18.
Men’s doubles: Luluk Hadiyanto-Candra Wijaya (Ina) bt Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen 21-13, 21-11; Cho Gun-woo-Yoo Yeon-seong (Kor) bt Kenichi Hayakawan-Kenta Kazuno (Jpn) 21-18, 21-15; Anthony Clark-Nathan Robertson (Eng) bt Fang Chien-min-Lee Sheng-mu (Tpe) 21-18, 21-16; Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen (Den) bt Ko Sung-hyun-Kwon Yi-goo (Kor) 21-18, 21-9;
Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Hoon Thien How-Lim Khim Wah 21-17, 21-18; Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong bt Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Chan Peng Soon 21-17, 21-10; Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung (Kor) bt Han Sang-hoon-Hwang Ji-man (Kor) 21-15, 21-17; Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan (Ina) bt Michal Logosz-Robert Mateusiak (Pol) 21-13, 14-21, 21-8
Women’s singles: Julia Wong bt Petya Nedelcheva (Bul) 19-21, 21-16, 21-10; Pi Hongyan (Fra) bt Adrianti Fridasari-21-17, 21-18; Saina Nehwal (Ind) bt Chen Hsiao-huan (Tpe) 21-16, 19-21, 21-19; Lydia Cheah bt Yip Pui Yin (Hkg) 21-15, 21-17; Zhou Mi (Hkg) bt Salakjit Ponsana (Tha) 21-13, 17-21, 21-6; Wang Chen (Hkg) bt Eriko Hirose (Jpn) 21-15, 21-11; Zhang Beiwen (Chn) bt Pia Zebadiah Bernadet (Ina) 21-8, 21-14; Tine Rasmussen (Den) bt Hwang Hye-youn (Kor) 21-15, 20-22, 21-19.
Women’s doubles: Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen (Chn) bt Frances Liu-Vanessa Neo (Sin) 21-13, 21-8; Shendy Puspa Irawati-Meiliana Jauhari (Ina) bt Sabrina Chong-Woon Khe Wei 21-13, 18-21, 21-18; Cheng Wen-hsing-Chien Yu-chien (Tpe) bt Nairul Suhada Abdul Latif- Amelia Anscelly 15-21, 21-16, 21-9; Gao Ling-Wei Yili (Chn) bt Shinta Mulia Sari-Yao Lei (Sin) 21-17, 21-11;
Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty (Mas) bt Petya Nedelcheva-Mie Schjoett-Kristensen (Bul-Den) 21-19, 21-13; Vita Marissa-Lilyana Natsir (Ina) bt Goh Liu Ying-Ng Hui Lin 21-14, 18-21, 21-15; Ha Jung-eun-Kim Min-jung (Kor) bt Helle Nielsen-Marie Roepke (Den) 21-11, 21-9; Lee Hyo-jung-Lee Kyung-won (Kor) bt Chang Li-ying-Chou Chia-chi (Tpe) 21-18, 21-14.
Mixed doubles: Nova Widianto-Lilyana Natsir (Ina) bt Devin Lahardi Fitriawan-Lita Nurlita (Ina) 21-17, 21-16; Chen Hung-ling-Chou Chia-chi (Tpe) bt Rasmus Bonde-Helle Nielsen (Den) 21-19, 26-24; Koo Kien Keat-Ng Hui Lin bt V. Diju-Jwala Gutta (Ind) 21-18, 21-14; Jaochim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen (Den) bt Mohd Rijal-Vita Marissa (Ina) 21-14, 18-21, 21-18;
Yohan Hadikusumo Wiratama-Chai Hoi Wah (Hkg) bt A. Songphon-V. Kunchala (Tha) 19-21, 21-16, 21-19; Hoon Thein How-Chin Eei Hui bt Robert Blair-Imogen Bankier (Eng-Sco) 21-16, 21-18; Lee Yong-dae-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor) bt Lim Khim Wah-Wong Pei Tty 21-11, 21-13; Sudket Prapakamol-T. Saralee (Tha) bt Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Woon Khe Wei 21-19, 19-21, 21-19.
* From 6.30pm today
Men’s singles: Chong Wei vs Simon; Gade-Christensen vs Daren; Sung-hwan vs Yan Kit; Hsin-yu vs Sony.
Men’s doubles: Markis-Hendra vs Candra-Luluk; Clark-Robertson vs Passke-Rasmussen; Kien Keat-Boon Heong vs Yong-dae-Jae-sung; Gun-woo-Yeon-Seong vs Alven-Hendra.
Women’s singles: Zhou Mi vs Julia; Hongyan vs Saina; Lydia vs Wang Chen; Beiwen vs Rasmussen.
Women’s doubles: Eei Hui-Pei Tty vs Zhang Jiewen-Yang Wei; Vita-Lilyana vs Shendy-Meiliana; Jung-eun-Min-jung vs Hyo-jung-Kyung-won; Gao Ling-Wei Yili vs Wen-hsing-Chin-yu.
Mixed doubles: Nova-Lilyana vs Hung-ling-Chia-chi; Kien Keat-Hui Lin vs Nielsen-Pedersen; Yohan-Hoi Wah vs Sudket-Saralee; Thien How-Eei Hui vs Yong-dae-Hyo-jung.