SHAH ALAM: Datuk Lee Chong Wei's smashing 21-14, 21-13 win over Denmark's Viktor Axelsen today was his best performance so far in the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open Superseries Premier here. The second seeded Malaysian will face another Dane, Jan O Jorgensen in the semifinals tomorrow.
Jorgensen scored a rather easy win over the fourth seeded Lin Dan, whose game appeared to be affected after a service fault in the first set. Lin Dan hardly raised a fight in the second set. The defeat ended Lin Dan's hopes of claiming the Malaysian title which has evaded him over the years. Jorgensen won 21-17, 21-4 in a match that lasted 32 minutes.
Reaching the semifinals of the Malaysia Open and playing on home soil after suffering early defeats in the All England (first round) and India Open (second round) last month, Chong Wei has chosen to take the cautious approach in his bid to win his 11th Malaysia Open title.
"Today's match was an improvement from yesterday and I hope to play even better tomorrow. It will be a much tougher match against Jorgensen. He is in form and the win over Lin Dan proves this," said Chong Wei, who holds an impressive 14-1 head-to-head lead against the Dane.
Jorgensen was jubilant with his win over the Chinese ace and said: "I played a structured game in the first set and flawless badminton in the second.
"Chong Wei will not be an easy opponent. He is playing on home soil and has fan support and obviously Chong Wei will start as the favourite. I feel so good to have beaten Lin Dan who was my idol as I was growing up,"
Lin Dan was a very disappointed man as he questioned the service judge's decision to fault him. "Jorgensen was never faulted although his serves were questionable," lamented Lin Dan.
Chong Wei's home fans came out with force to cheer Malaysia's hottest badminton property and he did not disappoint them with his powerful smashes and delightful net play.
"I will give my best but as a sportsman you have defeats…it is part and parcel of sports."
Malaysia will have another representative in the semifinals after mixed doubles duo, Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying overcame their quarterfinal rivals today. They almost wrapped up the game in the second set but a late charge from Puavaranukroh Dechapol-Sapsiree Taerrattanachai stretched the game to the distance.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying, backed by a very supportive home crowd, eventually won 21-18, 20-22, 21-17.