Taipei: Badminton fans hoping to watch one of the most storied badminton challenges of all-time: The Lee Chong Wei – Lin Dan rivalry, may well have to wait until the World Championships in August, after Lee Chong Wei suffered a hard-fought 21-17, 20-22, 13-21 loss to world No. 1 Chen Long in the quarter-final of Chinese Taipei Open on Friday. Chen improved his head-to-head record against Lee to 11-9 after the victory.
Today’s match was the first encounter between Chen and Lee since last year’s Incheon Asian Games, where Chen Long defeated Lee Chong Wei in the men’s team semi-final.
Lee was off to a good start when he ruthlessly dismantled Chen in the first set with a 21-17 win. However, Lee was unable to keep his 19-17 lead in the second set, surrendering the game with 20-22.
“The second set was critical, I led most of the game, but I was in a hurry to wrap up the game and ended up making some simple mistakes, allowing Chen Long to come back to claim the game,” said Lee.
Chen Long said he stuck to the game plan created by his coaches during key moments and it has worked extremely well for him.
“Even though I haven’t played Lee after last year’s Incheon Asian Games, but his style of play still pretty much the same. I was proactive in both defense and offense with the aim of outmaneuvering Lee,” said Chen. Chen found his rhythm late in the third set to eventually clinch the hard-fought match in 77 minutes. Chen will play Wei Nan of Hong Kong on Saturday.
Lin Dan also cruised into the men’s singles semi-final as he overcame resilient Ginting Anthony of Indonesia 21-7, 22-20 in 39 minutes.
Playing before a home crowd, men’s singles 5th seed Chou Tien Chen put in a strong performance to beat world No. 2 Jan O Jorgensen 20-22, 21-14, 21-16.
In mixed doubles, 7th seeds Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na pulled off the biggest upset of the day in Taipei on Friday, beating top seeds Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei 15-21, 21-15, 21-15 to book their semi-final berths.
The grueling 3-set men’s doubles match finally ended in Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong’s favor, when the Koreans clawed from one set deficit to seal an impressive victory against Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi of Indonesia 21-16, 24-26, 21-14 in 79 minutes.
Women’s singles top seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan of China, and Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei secured berths in the semi-finals. Intanon will face Wang on Saturday, while Li will take on Tai for a place in the women’s singles final.
The four remaining women’s doubles pairs will play for a spot in the final on Saturday. Top seeds Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi of Japan will clash with 4th seeds Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii of Indonesia in the semi-final, while scratch pair Huang Yaqiong/Ma Jin will prepare for the semi-final face-off with compatriots Luo Ying/Luo Yu.