THE listless play of the first round was a thing of the past as Lee Chong Wei cruised into the quarter-finals of the Korea Open in Seoul yesterday.
Up next for him is local favourite Park Sung Hwan but if yesterday’s form is any indication, a place in the semi-finals belongs to the Malaysian.
Chong Wei was ruthless as he thrashed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-14, 21-9 in just 20 minutes.
It will be a repeat of the Malaysia Open final against Sung Hwan, who also had an impressive 21-12, 21-4 win over Japan’s Sho Sasaki in 21 minutes.
Sung Hwan will be seeking revenge but Chong Wei will be unperturbed as he has lost only lost once in nine meetings with the Korean.
However, World No 1 Chong Wei can’t expect to have it as easy as he did in the , the World No 1, had an easy 21-14, 21-13 win in the Malaysia Open final, today as but it won’t be that easy today as Sung Hwan will be looking to capitalise on home ground advantage.
National singles coach Rashid Sidek, in a telephone interview from Seoul, said Chong Wei has set a high standard for himself and must be ready to face the challenge.
“Chong Wei has the advantage in terms of past meetings and has just beaten him. (in the Malaysia Open). Chong Wei has set high standards and he must safeguard his reputation,” said Rashid.
“It is definitely going to be tougher this time as Sung Hwan will be banking on home ground advantage but as a top player, Chong Wei must be prepared to face challenges in every situation.
“Winning against Sung Hwan is almost certain to give him a place in the final as he only has to face either Chan Yan Kit (of Hong Kong) or (Poland’s Przemyslaw) Wacha in the last four.
“He played well in the second round today (yesterday) and the opponent wasn’t strong but it will be different in the quarter-finals.”
Chong Wei’s victory failed to inspire the rest of the Malaysian singles players who crashed out. in the second round.
Arif Latif found the going tough against Andre Kurniawan Tedjono of Indonesia and suffered a 21-12, 21-16 defeat in 30 minutes.
Chong Wei Feng followed suit, suffering a in almost identical 21-13, 21-15 defeat at the hands of another Indonesian, Simon Santoso in 32 minutes.
Julia Wong gave a better account of herself in the women’s singles but still fell short as she lost 21-14, 15-21, 21-5 to third seed Wang Chen of Hong Kong in 39 minutes.
In the men’s doubles, veterans Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah defeated Malaysia Open runners-up Alvent Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan 11-21, 21-16, 21-19 to advance to the quarter-finals.
Tan Fook-Wan Wah will now meet Taiwan’s Fang Chieh Min-Lee Sheng Mu, who toppled Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 21-10, 11-21, 21-18, today.
However, it was the end of the road for Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng who lost 21-16 13-21, 22-20 to Han Sang Hoon-Shin Baek Cheol of South Korea in the second round.