# Malaysian ace stops Japan’s Sho Sasaki for a place in the semis
# Will take on China’s Wang Zhengming in the last four
Has Datuk Lee Chong Wei finally got rid of the superseries jinx this year? The unseeded Malaysian has progressed to the semi-finals in the men’s singles in the USD275,000 Yonex French Open Superseries in Paris on Friday.
It is his first semi-finals in the superseries this year after coming back to competitive badminton after serving an eight-month month for alleged doping which ended on May 1 this year.
However, the former World No 1 flopped miserably in the Superseries events which saw him surrender his Yonex Japan Open title following a second round defeat.
There was more to come when he failed to make the main draw of the Vicktor Korea Open – suffering an embarassing defeat to former world junior champion Heo Kwang-hee in the first round in the qualifiers. This was followed by a second round defeat to Hong Kong’s Wei Nan in the Yonex Denmark Open.
However, Chong Wei has been breathing fresh air in Paris. A day after celebrating his 33rd birthday in the French city on Wednesday, Chong Wei, reached his first quarter-finals in the superseries he came back from a set down to beat Denmark’s former world junior champion Viktor Axelsen 12-21, 21-17, 21-14 in a 64 minute battle.
In the semi-finals on Friday, Chong Wei stamped his class with a confident 21-9, 21-12 win over Japanese veteran Sho Sasaki in 36 minutes.
Chong Wei next faces China’s former junior world champion Wang Zhengming and the final beckons for the Malaysian. Now ranked No 19 in the latest BWF ranking list, Chong Wei has not lost to the Chinese opponent.
The Malaysian, however, has been warned by his coach Hendrawan that “no opponent is an easy meat” as the chase for the 2016 Rio Olympics heats up.
SELECTED QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS
Datuk Lee Chong Wei (Mas) Sho Sasaki (Jpn) 21-9, 21-12
Wang Zhengming (Chn) beat Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) 21-17, 12-21, 21-8
Jan O Jorgensen (Den) beat Tian Houwei (Chn) 21-18, 21-19
Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) beat Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) 21-13, 15-21, 21-10
Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) beat Saina Nehwal (Ind) 21-9, 21-15
Tai Tze Ying (Tpe) beat Li Xuerui (Chn) 22-20, 21-14
Wang Shixian (Chn) beat Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) 21-17, 27-15
Carolina Marin (Spn) beat Maria Febe Kusumastuti (Ina) 21-16, 21-10