CHINA OPEN 2015 SF – Saina, Chong Wei back for seconds

After earning his first Superseries title of the year in Paris last month, Lee Chong Wei streams into the final in China by earning a sweet victory over his best […]

After earning his first title of the year in Paris last month, Lee Chong Wei streams into the final in China by earning a sweet victory over his best frenemy Lin Dan. Defending champion Saina Nehwal will take on Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui in the battle for the women’s singles crown.

By Ooi Ee Lyn, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Lee Chong Wei (pictured left) has had a tough year, but his victory in Paris last month has given him the confidence he needs for his run in China. After losing the opening game to Lin Dan in the semi-final today, Lee Chong Wei came back up to bag the following games to seal his first victory over Lin Dan in nearly four years.

I had the chance [to win it] in two games but I couldn’t. I think that’s a pity. I don’t feel very comfortable [with the outcome] after working hard like that. I had a huge lead, not just 1 or 2 points, but I lost. However, I can accept the defeat as we’ve always been at a similar level,” said Lin Dan to BWF staff on-site in Fuzhou.

“I prepared quite well, as you all have seen, it’s just that I didn’t manage to grab the chance when I had the lead. I feel uncomfortable about not making the final,” concluded Lin Dan.

The Malaysian superstar is now in the run for a second Superseries title before ending the season, but to achieve that, he will have to beat Chen Long, who has an advantage of five consecutive wins against Lee beginning in 2014.

I don’t have special emotions about beating Lin Dan. It’s just that I haven’t played in the for the past four years, and this could be my last time here, so I want to appreciate this opportunity. The match today was like the final. Regardless of what will happen in my match against Chen Long tomorrow, I’ll do my best to prepare for it,” Lee Chong Wei told BWF.

Saina in the run for two seconds

Saina Nehwal (pictured right) lived up to her title as the defending champion as she steamrolled pass the Chinese ladies to appear in the final. Wang Yihan went down to Saina in straight games of 21-13, 21-18. Saina now aims to bag her second China Open title as well her second Superseries title of the year.

However, the final match on Sunday might not be easy for the world #2, as Li Xuerui (pictured left) is likely also eyeing for the crown, so as to increase her chances of a last-minute overturn in the Dubai rankings. With her victory over Wang Shixian in the semi-final this afternoon, Li is slowly closing the gap between herself and Wang Yihan, the second Superseries Final qualifier for China. Rising to the top on Sunday would put her at a more approachable distance behind Wang Yihan. The fate of the two ladies will lie on Li Xuerui’s performance tomorrow, as well as their run in Hong Kong next week.

Bye, Dubai – For Ko / Shin and Jang / Lee

Having lost to Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi in the semi-final today, Jang Ye Na / Lee So Hee will now have to watch the plane to the Emirates leave without them. The Japanese will be in the way of Tang Yuanting and defending champion Yu Yang in clinching the title at home.

In the men’s doubles, Ko Sung Hyun / Shin Baek Cheol share similar fate with Jang/Lee in terms of not making Dubai their final destination. Ko/Shin did not manage to topple Chai Biao / Hong Wei while Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang (pictured bottom) steadily ascend to a higher position within the top 8 in the Dubai rankings by defeating Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa earlier in the afternoon.

On the other hand, Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen ousted Liu Cheng / Bao Yixin, and are now in charge of stopping Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei from defending their homeground title.

Finals line-up
WD: Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) [1] vs. Tang Yuanting / Yu Yang (CHN)
XD: Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [1] vs. Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen (DEN) [5]
WS: Saina Nehwal (IND) [1] vs. Li Xuerui (CHN) [6]
MS: Chen Long (CHN) [1] vs. Lee Chong Wei (MAS)
MD: Chai Biao / Hong Wei (CHN) [6] vs. Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang (KOR)

Click here for complete semi-final results

About Ee-Lyn Ooi