Malaysian superstar Lee Chong Wei and Spain’s badminton queen Carolina Marin took 45 minutes each in overcoming their opponents in semifinals on Saturday. While Lee is on the verge of his third Super-series crown, magnificent Marin will make it number six this season. Lee did everything right in his match against local hope Angus Ng Ka Long but Ng still showed his fighting qualities in the first game. By and large, however, Lee looked a better player overall and his experience got the better of the youngster’s new-found enthusiasm. The Malaysian will fight for the title on Sunday against China’s Tian Houwei, who had a much tougher time in the other semifinal against Indonesian qualifier Ginting Anthony. On her part, Carolina Marin never lost her focus against the dangerous Chinese Wang Yihan and easily came through to set up the title clash with Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara. On her part, the Japanese rising star fought hard against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon before sailing through to the final. In men’s doubles category, Korean top seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeong Seong won their match against China’s no.6 seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei and they will play for the title against the third-seeded Danish pair of Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen, who stunned no.2 seeded Indonesians Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan. The mixed and women’s doubles will both be all-Chinese affairs. The women’s doubles fifth-seeded team of Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei will take on compatriots Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang while in mixed doubles, world no.1 Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei will take on no.3 seeds Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin.
When Lee Chong Wei took to the court against giant-killer Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong on Saturday, he had the entire Hong Kong against him. The 21-year old Ng has already created a sensation by defeating the legendary Lin Dan in the second round and he fancied his chances against another living legend. As a matter of fact, Ng had a great start as he took a three-point lead against the Malaysian in the opening game even as the crowd went wild. Ng ran like an acrobat and retrieved everything that Lee threw at him. Throughout the game, Ng matched Lee and led 18-15 near the end. But Lee held his nerve as the ambitious Ng made crucial errors at crunch moments. After Lee took the first game 21-19, there was no stopping him. Ng knew he lost his chance and played a second fiddle to the celebrated Malaysian in the second game. Finally, Lee proved too strong in his 21-19, 21-16 victory over the Hong Kong youngster, who the Malaysian reckoned as a future star in his post-match interview. Now Lee has only one more hurdle to cross for his third super-series title of the season. He will have to beat China’s world no.10 Tian Houwei, who came across a hot contender in Indonesia’s Ginting Anthony in the other semifinal earlier in the day. Anthony took the first game from the Chinese 21-18 but fizzled out in the next two. Houwei found his rhythm and dictated terms to win 18-21, 21-11, 21-6 in almost an hour’s match.
Women’s top seed and double world champion Carolina Marin played with authority against China’s Wang Yihan in the first women’s semifinal on Saturday. Wang tried her best but the Spaniard kept her cool and didn’t allow herself to be cowed down in her 21-18, 21-16 victory over the Chinese. On Sunday, Marin will play for her sixth major title of the 2015 season against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, who ousted 2013 champion Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon 26-24, 21-6. Intanon led 13-10 in the first game that went neck-to-neck until Okuhara edged her out at 26-24. After that Intanon lost her bearings and literally surrendered.
Except women’s singles and men’s doubles, China still has finalists in three other categories that include all-Chinese finals in women’s and mixed doubles. In men’s doubles, however, Korean top seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeong Seong won against China’s no.6 seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei 22-24, 21-11, 30-28 in an 88-minute marathon. For the title on Sunday, the Koreans will square off with Denmark’s no.3 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen, who defeated Indonesia’s no.2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan 14-21, 21-12, 21-16. In women’s doubles, China’s fifth-seeded team of Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei scored a 21-16, 21-15 victory over Japan’s Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao to set up the summit clash with compatriots Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang. Tang/Yu scored a 22-20, 21-11 victory over Indonesia’s fourth seeds Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii. In the mixed doubles, top seeds and world no.1 Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei of China defeated Korea’s Yoo Yeon Seong/Chang Ye Na 22-20, 21-17 and for the title game, they will face compatriots and no.3 seeds Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin, who beat the Korean pair of Shin Baek Cheol/Yoo Jung Chae 17-21, 21-15, 21-16.
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