Birmingham: Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei had to be at his battling best to outlast Lee Dong Keun of Korea 21-6, 13-21, 21-18 at the All England on Thursday to set up a mouth-watering 40th meeting with his great rival, two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan.
The 36-year-old Malaysian was pushed hard as he slugged it out with his 27-year-old opponent over nearly 64 minutes on Arena Birmingham to reach the 2018 All England quarter-finals.
In the decider, after his 15-10 five-point lead evaporated in the decider, Lee Chong-Wei had to dive around the court in defense to keep his opponent at bay.
“I am getting better, but I think I will enjoy it more tomorrow. I hope everyone else will enjoy it as well,” said Lee as he was referring to his meeting with Lin Dan on Friday.
Lin Dan was also had to go to the distance before outlasting Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei 21-13, 23-21 in 44 minutes. Lin was trailed 17-20 in the second set when Wang was able to move the shuttlecock at different speeds and different angles to disrupt his rhythm.
“I had some good chances in the second set, but I lost my concentration and made too many errors,” said Wang.
The men’s singles No. 3 seed Kidambi Srikanth of India, wasted two match points as he lost 21-11, 15-21, 22-20 to Huang Yuxiang of China.
In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong were made to work by England’s Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge for their three-set 16-21, 23-21, 21-12 win in 66 minutes.
Goh/Tan will play No. 2 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen of Denmark next.
Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi showed all of their battling spirit to pull one back against No. 1 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia. However, the Indonesians proved too strong for the Malaysians, winning their second-round match 21-17, 20-22, 21-13. Gideon/Sukamuljo will meet No. 7 seeds Chen Hung Ling/Wang Chi-lin in the quarter-finals.
The Rio Olympic mixed doubles silver medalists Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying however conceded their second-round match, losing to No. 8 seeds Zhang Nan/Li Yinhui of China 24-22, 22-20.