BUKIT JALIL: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei admitted that he has yet to peak after struggling to overcome China’s Wang Zhengming in the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
The 31-year-old Chong Wei was given a proper workout by the former world junior champion before prevailing 21-17, 21-18 at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jali on Thursday.
“I didn’t play my best today against Zhengming,” said Chong Wei.
“It’s tough taking on these China players because there are so many of them and there’s only one of me.
“But what’s important is that I win the match and continue to focus on my next match.
“I know that to win my 10th Malaysian Open title, I’ll have to go through all these tough players from China. But it’s okay because I’m capable of holding on.”
Chong Wei will face Du Pengyu of China in the quarter-finals. Pengyu beat Chen Yuekun 21-19, 16-21, 21-12 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, world No. 2 Chen Long nearly suffered an early exit before slogging to beat Hong Kong’s Wei Nan 19-21, 21-18, 24-22.
National men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah again joined Chong Wei in the quarter-finals with a superb display to beat Thailand’s Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech.
The pair, who also made the last eight at the Korean Open last week, won 21-19, 25-23.
“It’s been a good start for us this year but now we want to do better and go one step further,” said V Shem.
There were shock defeats in men’s doubles as top seeds and world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiwan and reigning All-England champions Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan of China crashed out in the second round.
Taiwan’s world No. 9 Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin dealt the crushing blow on the Indonesians with an impressive 21-10, 19-21, 21-13 win.
Luckily for Indonesia, Angga Pratama-Rian Agung Saputra saved them the blushes when they ousted fourth seeds Xiaolong-Zihan 21-18, 21-19.
There was also heartbreak for both of Malaysia’s mixed doubles pairs.
Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo failed to crack the experienced partnership of Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thoungthongkam if Thailand, going down fighting 19-21, 21-14, 17-21.
Then, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying fought back from 8-0 down in the rubber game but blew a match-point opportunity to lose 21-18, 17-21, 22-24 in 79 minutes.
“It’s such a shame to lose. We chased them from 8-0 down and could have even won it,” said Peng Soon.
Liu Ying, who is still suffering from the meniscus tear in her right knee, has asked for a few more days to decide on whether to go for surgery.