Saturday January 19, 2013
Lee Chong Wei marches into semis while Daren falters
Reports by RAJES PAUL and KNG ZHENG GUAN Pictures by S. S. KANESAN and M. AZHAR ARIF
WORLD No. 1 Lee Chong Wei stamped his class in his home tournament when he marched into the semi-finals of the Maybank Malaysian Open at Putra Stadium but his younger compatriot Liew Daren fell to the pressure of playing on home soil.
There were also good news for Malaysia in men’s doubles when Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem made it to the semi-finals.
Yesterday, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen kept to his word to spoil an all-Malaysian semi-final affair in the men’s singles when he went on a rampage to beat Daren 19-21, 21-13, 21-17.
The Dane will take on eight-time champion Chong Wei, who bulldozed past a hapless Hu Yun of Hong Kong with a superb 21-12, 21-9 win to march confidently into the last four.
After accomplishing his job in just 24 minutes, seasoned campaigner Chong Wei said that he was confident that Daren would win but the latter crumbled at home.
“Daren had beaten Jorgensen twice before and naturally, I was hoping for him to win again. I am used to playing at home but Daren could not cope with the pressure. He must learn from this Malaysian Open experience.
“After an easy win today, I will have to prepare for a tough time against Jorgensen. He is an attacking player and he has been doing well here.”
Jorgensen showed humility in his victory yesterday by singing praises of Daren.
“It was really a tough match. Daren gave me an immense fight. I reckon the world will see more of us – fighting closely for the next few years to come,” he said.
“At 17-17 in the decider, the match could have gone either way but it feels good to be one up against Daren now.”
Daren had beaten Jorgensen twice – at the Thomas Cup Finals in Wuhan and the French Open. He also had beaten the Dane in a German Under-19 tournament.
On his match against Chong Wei today, the 25-year-old Dane said: “It will be like playing against the Super Hero of Malaysia. He has achieved so much and remained almost unbeatable here but am looking forward to the match.”
The other semi-final will be between second seed Kenichi Tago and Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia.
In the men’s doubles semi-finals today, all eyes will be on Khim Wah-V Shem when they take on the giants Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae of South Korea.
Yesterday, Khim Wah-V Shem put up a spirited show to beat Kang Ji-wook-Lee Sang-joon of South Korea 21-14, 21-16 while Sung-hyun and Yong-daie, the reigning Korean Open champions, crushed Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata of Japan 21-14, 21-7 in just 27 minutes.
Said Khim Wah: “V Shem and I played well today and we hope to keep the momentum going. We lost to Yong-dae-Sung-hyun in the Korean Open last week but we hope to give them a run for their money here.”
The other men’s doubles semis will be also be an interesting affair between China’s Chai Biao-Liu Xiaolong and Indonesians Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan.