Defending champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei strolled into the quarterfinals of the Malaysian Open Super Series on a day which saw Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen pull of a major upset by showing world number two Lin Dan the exit door.
Chong Wei, seven times winner of the Open, stayed on course for his eighth title with a an easy 21-8, 21-18 straight sets victory over Kazushi Yamada of Japan but Lin Dan, touted to be Chong Wei’s main threat in the Open, was beaten 14-21, 21-15, 21-15 by Denmark’s rising star.
Jorgensen, who described the feat as “the biggest win ever”, said beating Lin Dan was a big boost for him after going through a hard year last season.
“Lin Dan is a very difficult player to beat. I lost to him in China last year, but this time around my coach and I came out with a different game plan, more sharp shots at the net and try to win the rallies,” said the Danish who suffered a heart condition after the death of his mother last year.
However, Jorgensen admitted that Lin Dan was probably tired after a string of tournaments since last year.
The 25-year-old Dane will have another tough match tomorrow when he faces another Chinese player Chen Jin in the quarterfinal.
Meanwhile, Chong Wei who would probably face his biggest hurdle in another Chinese nemesis, Chen Long, whom he is expected to meet in the semifinals, hardly lost any sweat when he wrapped up the first game 12-8.
However, the Japanese dominated the early proceedings in the second and even led 12-4 at one stage before Chong Wei pulled up his socks with his usual cross court smashes and neat net play to win 21-18.
“I lost my focus and concentration at the start of the second game due to the draft inside the stadium. I was very cautious when we changed ends but managed to adjust my game later,” he said.
He will meet Indonesian ace Taufik Hidayat who disposed Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh 21-11, 21-14 in straight sets.
Apart from Chong Wei, two Malaysian women’s pairs marched into the quarterfinals in contrasting styles.
The country’s top women’s doubles pair Chin Eei Hui/Wong Pei Tty had to dig deep into their reserves to beat South Korean pair Eom Hye Won/Jang Ye Na 21-18, 21-14 but their teammates Vivian Hoo/Khe Wei Woon did not even have to enter the court when Indonesian pair Anneke Feinya Agustin/Nitya Krishinda Maheswari conceded a walkover due to injuries.