MACAU OPEN 2010 SF – Lees to meet again after Beijing Olympics

Lee Hyun Il has made a big comeback to competition and will play against Lee Chong Wei in the final of the 2010 Kumpoo Macau Open Grand Prix Gold on […]

Lee Hyun Il has made a big comeback to competition and will play against Lee Chong Wei in the final of the 2010 Kumpoo Gold on Sunday in a battle between two of the greatest shuttlers of the past ten years.

Story and photos by Kevin Kung, Badzine Hong Kong Correspondent, Live in Macau

Local spectators had gathered in the big hall, cut into two – one competition side with two courts and one practice side behind a huge black curtain. Seats were half empty, but many had come from Hong Kong to enjoy the show of today’s semi-finals in Macau.

Lee Chong Wei and Lee Hyun Il (photo) will meet again. Last time they did was in the semi-finals at the Beijing Olympics, when the Malaysian had taken the best of the Korean in three games.  Hyun Il was eventually also deprived of even a medal as Chen Jin was then to beat the Korean for bronze.

In Macau, Lee Chong Wei and Simon Santoso had a great match of attack and defense. Chong Wei won the first game 21-12, but Simon won the second game 21-18. In the decider, the defending champion had a 9-0 opening lead, but the Indonesian chased back to 12-15. It was Chong Wei who won 6 consecutive points after the scare and once again will get his ticket to Sunday’s final.

Macau-FraniscaLee Hyun Il, meanwhile, managed to beat Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana using his trademark powerful smash and skillful net shots. It took 41 minutes for the left-hander to complete the 2-game match as the players had many long rallies.

This final will be a delight for the spectators to watch between two stylish and strong players, both with great attacking weapons and fantastic defenses.

Zhou Mi shown the exit in spite of big support from crowd

In the women’s singles, 4th seed Zhou Mi from Hong Kong was not in her best form and committed too many unforced errors, which cost her ticket to the final, even if the crowd pulled her spirit up in the second game. On the other hand, China’s youngster Li Xuerui had some fluctuations at the end of the second game but she got her focus back in the rubber game. She will meet Adriyanti Firdasari, (photo) who beat Cheng Shao Chieh 21-14, 21-11.  Li will try to claim another title after this year’s Badminton Asia Championships.

Macau-ZHangThe local pair Zhang Dan / Zhang Zhibo (photo) were home heroes when they won the opening game 21-17. However, it was Meiliana Jauhari / Greysia Polii who won the match, coming back 21-18, 21-18 in the second and third games. They will meet Cheng Wen Hsing / Chien Yu Chin in the final. The Taiwan players had an easy win over top seed Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna (pictured below) and are now poised to take their third straight tournament title.

There will be an all-Indonesian final in the mixed doubles. 6th seeds Liliyana Natsir / Tontowi Ahmad showed a higher class against compatriots Fran Kurniawan Teng / Pia Zebadiah Bernadet while top seeds Hendra Aprida Gunawan / Vita Marissa beat Sudket Prapakamol / Saralee Thoungthongkam from Thailand.  Lilyana Natsir is, of course, ranked #1 in the world in mixed doubles with Nova Widianto, with whom she has reached 5 finals in the past year, winning one.  However, Sunday in Macau will mark her fourth final this year with three different partners, as she already picked up the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold title with Devin Lahardi Fitriawan early last month.

Macau-MaedaA major upset of the day came when the men’s doubles semi-finals saw  Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan lose to Ko Sung Hyun / Yoo Yeon Seong in 18-21, 21-18, 21-11. Ko and Yoo won the Swiss Open this spring by beating 3 of the past 4 All England champions and now they have added the Olympic champions to their list of scalps.  Alvent Yulianto Chandra / Hendra Aprida Gunawan will carry the revenge mission in the final. They advanced to the final by eliminating Cho Gun Woo / Kwon Yi Goo, also from Korea.  The Indonesians are still in search of their first major title together after finishing as runners-up in one Super Series and 2 Grand Prix Gold tournaments in their 19-month partnership.

All results HERE

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