AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Sunday 20 January 2013
Last update 20 January 2013 12:38 am
KUALA LUMPUR: World No.1 Lee Chong Wei dropped his first game of the tournament yesterday as he overcame Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen to secure a place in the finals of the Malaysia Badminton Open.
The home favorite, bidding for record ninth Malaysia Open title, dropped the second game to the determined and energetic 26-year-old emerging Dane, but eventually won through 21-13, 17-21, 21-12.
“It was indeed a tough match and Jan pushed me hard,” said Lee, 30, who will now face Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the final.
“I haven’t faced him in over a year but he has bounced back from his injuries to break into the top five in the world. So I’m expecting another tough match.” Kuncoro, a three-time Asian champion, was ranked as low as number 79 in the world ten months ago but is now in top form after battling back from back and leg injuries.
The 29-year-old, a bronze medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympics, will move up to number four when the new world rankings are announced next week.
Kuncoro advanced to the final by beating Japan’s Kenichi Tago 21-12, 19-21, 23-21.
“I’m delighted to be back in the mix of a Superseries final. A year ago, my career was in jeopardy due to all my injuries but I’ve buckled down and I’m happy with my progress,” he said.
In the women’ singles, China’s Yao Xue will be in her first Superseries final after beating South Korea’s Bae Yeon-Ju 21-15, 21-18 in 34 minutes.
Yao, who turned 22 on Thursday, will take on 18-year-old Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan, who stunned Indian top seed Saina Nehwal 22-20, 21-14.
“I never expected to come this far in this tournament. I had to come through the qualifying rounds and to reach the final is a big bonus for me,” Yao said.
Chinese pair Bao Yixin/Tian Qing beat Indonesia’s Lejarsar Variella Aprilsasi Putri/Marissa Vita 21-13, 21-17 to book a berth in the women’s doubles finals.
The Chinese pair will face Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi. The Japanese players had earlier defeated Singapore’s Shinta Mulia Sari and her partner Yao Lei 22-20, 21-14.