* Top seed Chou Tien Chen also in semis
It was a stroll for Malaysia’s former World No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei when he took only 32 minutes in his 21-9, 21-14 win over England No 1 Rajiv Ouseph in the quarter-finals in the USD120,000 US Open Grand Prix Gold in Brentford, New York.
The 33-year-old Malaysian will now meet India’s B. Sai Praneeth for a place in the final. The 16th seeded Indian upset Hong Kong’s 12th seed Angus Ng Ka Long 21-8, 21-14 in his quarter-final match which also lasted 32 minutes.
The unseeded Chong Wei is strongly favoured to make final either against top seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan or Denmark’s rising star Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.
In the quarter-finals Tien Chen defeated Japan’s Takuma Ueda (9th seed) 21-11, 21-19 after a 44 minute while third seed Vittinghus was too strong for another Japanese Kenta Nishimoto in his 21-10, 21-16 win.
Winning titles to garner points in the world rankings which will also help him chase his dream of playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics is Chong Wei’s top priority now that his ranking has plunged to a low 180.
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.
Lee Chong Wei (Mas) beat Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) 21-9, 21-14
Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) beat Takuma Ueda (Jpn) 21-11, 21-19
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den) beat Kenta Nishimoto (Jpn) 21-10, 21-16
B. Sai Praneeth (Ind) beat Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) 21-8, 21-14