* Malaysian defeats India’s Sai Praneeth in semis to continue his unbeaten run in New York
* Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus knocks out top seed Chou Tien Chen
Malaysia’s former World No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei will face Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in the final of the USD120,000 US Open Grand Prix Gold on Sunday.
The 33-year Penangite continued his brilliant unbeaten run at the Grant Campus Sports & Education Center in Brentford, New York on Saturday when he easily disposed off India’s B. Sai Praneeth in the quarter-finals with a 21-9, 21-17 win in 34 minutes.
Third seed Vittinghus, who is raanked No 18 in the world, pulled off an upset in his semi-final encounter when he toppled top seed and favourite Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the other semi-final with a hard fought three-set thriller. The lanky Dane came back from a set down to beat the Taiwanese 12-21, 21-11, 21-13 in a 51-minute encounter.
Chong Wei, who is unseeded in New York, is now the favourite to lift the title in New York in his search for ranking points after plunging to a low 180 in the latest Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) latest ranking list issued on Thursday.
He goes into the final with a 3-0 advantage in head-to-head count with the Dane. He won in straight sets in his three counters so far – at the BCA Indonesian Open and Maybank Malaysian Open in 2014 and also at the 2012 All England Championships in 2012 ,
This is Chong Wei’s first Open tournament after a eight-month suspension for a doping scandal after last year’s World Championships in Copenhagen. The suspension was lifted on May 1.
It will be all-Japan affair in the women’s singles. In the semi-finals, which was also all-Japan affairs saw unseeded Sayako Sato upset second seeded Akane Yamaguchi with a 22-24, 21-11, 21-8 win. She will meet top seed Nozomi Okuhara who won 21-18, 21-10 against Sayaka Takahashi.
Selected semi-final results
Lee Chong Wei (Mas) beat B. Sai Praneeth (Ind) 21-9, 21-17
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den) beat Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) 12-21, 21-11, 21-13
Manu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy (Ind) beat Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) 21-17, 21-17
Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn) beat Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn) 21-17, 18-21, 21-11
Sayaka Sato (Jpn) beat Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) 22-24, 21-11, 21-8
Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) beat Sayaka Takahashi (Jpn) 21-18, 21-10