SHAH ALAM: Malaysia's Dato' Lee Chong Wei had little trouble disposing Dane Jan O Jorgensen in the semifinals of the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open today to secure a final showdown with defending champion and world No.1 Chen Long of China.
Second seeded Chong Wei, who is aiming for a record 11th Malaysia Open title, needed just over half-an-hour to overcome Jorgensen 21-7, 21-14. Chen Long on the other hand was given a nasty fright by young Indonesian Christie Jonatan before winning 8-21, 21-19, 21-14.
"The feel is already there and I am ready, both mentally and physically for the final," said Chong Wei. "Being in the final and to play the last match of the tournament against the defending champion will not be easy. I beat him (Chen Long) the last two times we played, but it's hard to say these days. It depends how things work out on the day itself."
Chen Long holds a slight edge over Chong Wei in the head-to-head battle which stands at 12-11.
The Chinese star meanwhile will surely want to forget his match against Christie today. Despite losing, Christie received the adulation of the fans for his smashing performance which had the fans enthralled as he sent Chen Long all over the court, especially in the first game which he won. Experience however got the better of the 18-year-old Christie and he eventually bowed out of contention. Nevertheless, he proved to be one of the stars of the tournament, having come through the qualifying round.
"If there is any consolation it is that I did far better the target I set in the Malaysia Open. It is a good learning experience for me," said Christie who has played in four Superseries Premier tournaments. This was his best run thus far. Reaching the semifinals of the Malaysia Open speaks volume of his talent.
Chen Long turned out to be the only top seed to qualify for the final tomorrow. Two other top seeds – China's mixed doubles duo, Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei and South Korea's men's doubles pair, Lee Yong Dae-Yoo Yeon Seong – both crashed out today.
Zhang Nan-Yunlei fought for over an hour but it was the Malaysian pair of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying which won 24-26, 21-15, 21-13. "This is our first win against them after 10 losses. We had hoped for a good result. It feels good to have finally beaten them," said Peng Soon.
Yong Dae-Yeon Seong meanwhile were knocked out of contention by compatriots Kim Gi Jung-Kim Sa Rang who are seeded fifth.
1-Chen Long (chn) vs Christie Jonatan (Ina) 8-21, 21-19, 21-14
2-Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt 5-Jan O Jorgensen (Den) 21-7, 21-14
4-Chai Biao-Hong Wei (Chn) bt Mads Conrad-Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding (Den) 26-14, 21-19
5-Kim Gi Jung-Kim Sa Rang (Kor) bt 1-Lee Yong Dae-Yoo Yeon Seong (Kor) 21-16, 21-12
4-Ratchanok Inthanon (Tha) bt 6-Wang Yihan (Chn) 21-11, 21-19
Tai Tzu Ying (Tai) bt 3-Saina Nehwal (Ind) 21-19, 21-13
7-Jung Kyung Eun-Shin Seung Chan (Kor) vs 2-Maheswari Nitya Krishinda-Greysia Polii (Ina) 21-16, 21-14
5-Tang Yuanting-Yu Yang (chn) bt Shizuka Matsuo-Mami Naito (Jpn) 21-15, 21-18
Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) bt 1-Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (Chn) 24-26, 21-15, 21-13
2-Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Ina) bt 6-Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Cristinna Pedersen 21-18, 21-17
Final fixtures: Order of Play
(starting from 1pm)
Tang Yuanting-Yu Yang vs Jung Kyung Eun-Shin Seung Chan
Kim Gi Jung-Kim Sa Rang vs Chai Biao-Hong Wai
Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying vs Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir
Ratchanok Inthanon vs Tai Tzu Ying
Chen Long vs Lee Chong Wei