MALAYSIA’s world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has thrown a challenge to younger compatriot Tan Chun Seang to get into the men’s singles semi-finals of the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold championships at Bandaraya Stadium.
The duo together with veteran Wong Choong Hann were the three Malaysians who won their third round matches yesterday to advance to the quarter-finals.
Top seed and Indonesia Open champion Lee Chong Wei displayed great show of craft at the net and ruthless smashes to beat China’s Zhou Wenlong 21-18, 21-4 in 30 minutes.
He could have finished off Wenlong even quicker if not for a flurry of mistakes in the first game when he was leading 17-12.
“I gave away many points at that stage but they were minor setbacks. There is nothing to be worried about. I feel quite confident of my game thus far and I don’t see any problem clearing my quarter-final match,” said Chong Wei, who will play against former Asian junior champion Tago Kenichi of Japan today.
Chong Wei was happy to see elite back-up shuttler Chun Seang also making it to the quarter-finals. Chun Seang defeated former national player Yeoh Kay Bin 21-16, 21-13.
The world No. 75, who is gunning for a first semi-final appearance in an Open tournament since joining the national team in 2004, will take on China’s Chen Long.
The 21-year-old Chen Long, who sent second seed Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia packing in the first round, continued his march with an easy 21-5, 21-11 win over India’s Arvind Bhat in the third round yesterday.
“I am pleased to see at least one of our back-up boys making it this far,” said Chong Wei. “But I will be happier if Chun Seang can get into the semi-finals. This is a chance for him to rise to the occasion and I hope he will pull it off.
“Chun Seang is looking more confident after making it to the team for the Sudirman Cup (world mixed team championships in Guangzhou in May). It was a good experience for him there.”
Choong Hann defeated Kuan Beng Hong 21-19, 21-16 to advance to a tricky quarter-final match against China’s back-up player Gao Huan.
The other quarter-final match today is between Indonesian Andre Kurniawan Tedjono and Hu Yun of Hong Kong.