* Sai Praneeth stretches Malaysian to the limit
* Chong Wei to play Japan’s Takuma Ueda
* Thien How-Khim Wah keep Malaysia’s flag flying in the men’s doubles
Malaysia’s Datuk Lee Chong Wei was involved in another three-set battle before prevailing against India’s B. Sai Praneeth 21-13, 18-21, 21-11 in 53 minutes in the men’s singles quarter-finals in the USD50,000 Yonex Canada Open in Calgary on Friday.
The 14th seeded Chong Wei will face Japan’s Takuma Ueda (sixth seed) who shocked second seed Xue Song of China 19-21, 21-18, 21-17 in a 77 minute battle.
On Thursday, Chong Wei, the former World No 1 was fully stretched by Hong Kong’s fifth seed Vincent Wong Wing Ki before winning 21-17, 20-22, 21-10.
This is the first time in four meetings that the 22-year-old Praneeth had taken a set off the Malaysian ace. Their previous three meetings – in the 2012 Yonex Sunrise Malaysian Open Grand Prix Open, the 2013 Djarom Indonesian Open and last week’s US Open had all ended in straight sets win for Chong Wei.
A straight set win was on the cards when Chong Wei led 16-12 in the second game but he allowed the Indian 10th seed and world No 33, to crawl up up to 16-16 and move ahead to 18-16 and force the rubber by winning the set 21-18.
A jolted Chong Wei woke up from his slumber and came out firing on all cylinders in the decider, taking the break at 11-2 before winning the match 21-11 for the semi-final clash against the Japanese. Chong Wei’s only previous meeting with Takuma was way back in 2011 during the Malaysia GP Gold. Chong Wei won 21-8, 21-12.
Chong Wei, who has moved up 81 rungs to be 99th after dropping to an all-time low 180, is expected to make his second successive final as his chase for ranking points to make the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Top seed Marc Zwiebler of Germany also stayed on course and will meet Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long in the semi-finals. The German won 21-16, 21-15 against India’s Ajay Jayaram while seventh seed Ka Long prevailed 21-17, 13-21, 21-17 against Taiwan’s Hsu Jen Hao, the third seed.
Independent players Hoon Thien How-Lim Khim Wah are also going places in the men’s doubles in Canada after their shock first round exit in the US Open. The Malaysians who toppled third seeds Michel Fuchs-Johannes Schoettler of Germany in the second, defeated Taiwan’s Chang Ko-chi-Wang Tzu Wei in three sets 21-8, 19-21, 21-14 in 45 minutes.
In the semi-finals the Malaysians will take China’s Huang Kaixiang-Wang Sijie who beat Taiwan’s Liang Jui Wei-Lu Chia Pin 21-19, 21-12 in the quarter-finals.
SELECTED QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS
Lee Chong Wei (Mas) beat B. Sai Praneeth (Ind) 21-13, 18-21, 21-11
Takuma Ueda (Jpn) beat Xue Song (Chn) 19-21, 21-18, 21-17
Marc Zwiebler (Ger) beat Ajay Jayaram (Ind) 21-16, 21-15
Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) beat Hsu Jen Hao (Tpe) 22-17, 13-21, 21-7
Hoon Thien How-Lim Khim Wah (Mas) beat Chang Ko-Chi- WangTzu- Wei Wang (Tpe) 21-8, 19-21, 21-14
Huang Kaixiang-Wang Sijie (Chn) beat Liang Jui wei-Lu Chia Pin 21-19, 21-12
Andrei Adista-Hendra Apinda Gunawan (Ina) beat Liao Chun Liao Min-Hao Tseng Min (Tpe) 21-16, 21-17
Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn) beat Lee Jhe-huei-Lee Yang (Tpe) 22-20, 24-22