Hong Kong: Unseeded former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei put on an impressive display against local favorite Angus Ng Ka Long at the Hong Kong Open semi-finals, stretching his head-to-head record against the Hong Konger to 3-0 with a 21-19, 21-14 victory at Hong Kong Coliseum on Saturday.
The three-time Hong Kong Open champion Lee Chong Wei got off to a slow start in the first set, trailing by 0-6 before tying the score at 8-8, and 10-10. However, by unleashing series of deadly smashes allowed Ng jumped out to an 18-15 lead. An unexpected turning point of first set came when Lee requested a timeout to receive medical treatment due to bleeding on his right ring finger. After the timeout, Ng dug a quick hole for himself with 4 unforced errors that saw Lee surged to 19-18 and ultimately rallied to take the first set 21-19.
Lee Chong Wei took full advantage of a slightly off-color performance from Ng as the former world number one sent the Hong Konger spiraling out of the Hong Kong Open by winning the second set 21-14.
Lee will face Tian Houwei of China in the final on Sunday. Interestingly, Lee had a 0-1 head-to-head disadvantage over Tian, and probably should correct on his slow start problem to avoid an upset by Tian in the men’s final.
In men’s doubles, top seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea fought off a stubborn Chinese pair the No. 6 seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei in men’s doubles semi-finals on Saturday, with the Chinese pair pushing the top seeds to the limit in an epic semi-final showdown by dragging the contest to 88 minutes before succumbing 22-24, 21-11, 30-28.
Lee/Yoo will play No. 3 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen of Denmark for the men’s doubles crown. The Danish pair defeated no. 2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan 14-21, 21-12, 21-16 in other men’s doubles semi-final
In the women’s singles, world number one Carolina Marin appeared at her most confident as she charged past her toughest opponent yet, No. 8 seed Wang Yihan of China, 21-18, 21-16. She will face Japanese Nozomi Okuhara after the unseeded beat Thailand’s No. 7 seed Ratchanok Intanon 26-24, 21-6.
Last week’s China Open women’s doubles champions Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang will clash with the 2012 Olympic champions Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei whom they dismissed in last week’s China Open semi-final for the Hong Kong Open title. Yuanting/Yu Yang continued their rampage in the women’s doubles semis with a 22-20, 21-11 win over Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii of Indonesia on Saturday, while No. 5 seeds Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei eased past Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao of Japan 21-16, 21-15 for a final berth.
Meanwhile, top seeds Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei will set up an all-Chinese final against No. 3 seeds Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin in the mixed doubles final on Sunday.