Proton Malaysia Open 2009 – Chong Wei carries home hopes against Gade-Christensen
MALAYSIAN OPEN BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
MALAYSIA’S Lee Chong Wei kept the Malaysian flag flying when he marched into the men’s singles semi-finals of the Malaysian Open but the gallant run of youngster Liew Daren came to an end yesterday.
All the other Malaysian shuttlers were shown the exit on a poor day for the hosts.
Lee Chong Wei
World No. 1 Chong Wei’s win, however, did not come easy .
He had to dig deep into his reserves to beat a stubborn Simon Santoso of Indonesia 21-15, 16-21, 21-11 in a match that lasted 64 minutes.
Today, Chong Wei will take on Denmark’s Peter Gade-Christensen, who thrashed Daren 21-12, 21-14 in another quarter-final.
Chong Wei, who had been struggling from day one of the competition, got off to a blistering start but Simon was bent on giving the Malaysian a tough ride.
Determined to make amends for his demoralising defeat to Chong Wei at their last meeting in Singapore , Simon turned on the heat with his superb attacking play and managed to steal the second game.
The decider however turned to be an anti-climax with Chong Wei romping home against a jaded Simon.
Chong Wei was happy to keep alive Malaysia’s interest in the home tournament.
Giantkiller: Hsieh Yu-hsin of Taiwan screaming in delight after the shock 21-15, 22-20 quarterfinal victory over Indonesian second seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro Friday.
“It was a different Simon that I played today. He was more aggressive and unlike before, his defence was also impressive. He played a more patient game. I increased my pace in the rubber and that worked for me,” said Chong Wei.
On the match against Gade-Christensen, Chong Wei said: “I do not want to be overconfident although I have beaten him easily in Sabah (en route to winning the Super Series Masters Finals),” he said.
“I hope the home fans will not give up hope. I promise to give my best and I am determined to defend my title here.”
Yesterday, hopes of an all-Malaysian semi-final between Chong Wei and Daren were high when the latter raced to a 9-3 lead against Gade-Christensen.
But the lack of experience and nerves eventually took their toll on the 22-year-old Daren.
“It was a dream start but I got nervous after taking the lead against Peter. I should have taken it easy from the beginning,” said Daren.
“But overall, it has been a great outing from me. The defeat in the quarter-finals has given me a lot more confidence. Now, I know, I am on the right track to challenge the top players.”
Gade-Christensen, who had expected a better fight from Daren, said: “He lost the momentum halfway through the first game. I did not panic although I was trailing 3-9 and caught up and kept my game at a higher level,” said the two-time Malaysian Open champion.
“Daren is talented. I think we will be seeing him a lot more this year. But he has to improve on his physical condition to be able to challenge the big guns.”
After losing in devastating fashion to Chong Wei at last month’s Super Series Masters Finals, Gade-Christensen is determined to turn the table on the Malaysian today.
“Chong Wei will have a bigger crowd to support him (tomorrow). It will be a good match and unlike the past I will be ready for him from the beginning,” said Gade-Christensen.
The other semi-final will be between South Korean Park Sung-hwan and Taiwanese Hsieh Yu-hsin, who pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament by stunning second seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia 21-15, 22-20.
Source : TheStar