Tokyo: World number one is now one victory away from becoming the first man to win five Japan Open titles.
Lee Chong Wei extended his mastery over Kenichi Tago as he stopped the Japanese 21-15, 21-17 in a dominant semi-final win lasting 47 minutes. Chong Wei will play the “giant slayer” of the tournament, Hu Yun from Hong Kong. Hu Yun had played some of the most thrilling badminton of the tournament to beat world number two, Chen Long in the quarter final, and world number three Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark 21-13, 19-21, 21-15 in a 62-minute semi-final match. On Sunday, Chong Wei needs to watch out for Hu Yun as the way Hu is playing, he is capable of knocking off the defending champ in the final.
Malaysia’s national singles coach Tey Seu Bock was pleased with Chong Wei’s performance in the semi-final.
“Chong Wei performed better today compared to his quarter final match. He was confident and was aided further by superior anticipation of Tago’s movement,” said Seu Bock.
In women’s singles, Li Xuerui, competing in her first Japan Open, struggled in the second set but was able to outlast Asian champion Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea 21-15, 23-21 in the women’s penultimate round. She will play Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in tomorrow’s final.
Here are other semi-final results:
WD: Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) defeated Jang Ye Na-Kim So Young (Korea) 21-9 21-17
MD: Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia) defeated Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata (Japan) 21-8 21-10
MD: Lee Yong Dae-Yoo Yeon Seong (Korea) defeated Angga Pratama-Ryan Agung Saputra (Indonesia) 21-16 21-14
XD: Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (China) defeated Kenichi Hayakawa-Misaki Matsutomo (Japan) 21-14 21-13
XD:Michael Fuchs-Birgit Michels (Germany) defeated Lee Chun Hei-Chau Hoi Wah (Hong Kong) 21-19 21-10