* Chong Wei stays on course for his third title
* Doubles flop again
* Iskandar Zulkarnain falls to Wang Zhengming in second round
Datuk Lee Chong Wei was in relentless mood when he marched into the men’s singles quarter-finals after two impressive wins in the USD200,000 Yonex Taiwan Open Grand Prix Gold at the Taipei Arena on Thursday.
In the second round, the former World No 1 made short work of 10th seed Tommy Sugiarto with a 21-12, 21-18 win in 41 minutes for a third round clash against China’s Wang Zhengming who packed off Iskandar Zulkarmain Zainuddin 21-18, 21-15.
And Chong Wei is once again Malaysia’s lone flag bearer when he swept aside sixth seed Wang Zhengming of China. The unseeded Chong Wei faces a tough hurdle for a place in the last four when he takes on current World No 1 and top seed Chen Long after the Chinese ace brushed aside Taiwan’s Hsu Jen Hao 21-16, 21-2 in 44 minutes.
The 24-year-old Iskandar, ranked 104 in the world stunned Japan’s World No 25 Sho Sasaki in the first round with the national shuttler winning 21-15, 17-21, 21-16. However, the Johor lad was unable to raise his game against Zhengming and lost in 40 minutes.
Chong Wei is gunning for a hat trick of titles after winning the US Open and the Canada Open last month. The 33-year-old Penangite is ranked No 65 and is on track in moving up the ranking list. His world ranking plunged after he was left out in the cold to serve an eight-month suspension for a doping scandal.
Since his ban ended on May 1 the Malaysian has been unbeaten. He played for Malaysia in the Sudirman Cup in Dongguang, China and the SEA Games in Singapore in the mixed team events. He has been unbeaten thus far and a fired up Chong Wei may just pull off another win.
With his wife Datin Wong Mew Choo having delivered the couple’s second son Terrance Lee on Thursday, Chong Wei, ranked 65, has everything going for him in his chase for ranking points to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
A good showing in Taiwan is expected to see Chong Wei move up the ranking list which will stand in good stead for the draw for next month’s World Championships in Jakarta.
However, on the doubles front it was a whitewash for the Malaysian pairs when Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang in the men’s doubles and Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei in the women’s were shown the exit in the second round.
Lee Chong Wei (Mas) beat Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) 21-12, 21-18
Wang Zhengming (Chn) beat Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin (Mas) 21-18, 21-15
Chen Long (Chn) beat Sameer Verma (Ind) 21-19, 21-16
Jan O Jorgensen (Den) beat Sukamta Evert (Ina) 21-11, 21-15
Lee Chong Wei (Mas) beat Wang Zhengming (Chn) 21-10, 21-15
Chen Long (Chn) beat Hsu Jen Hao (Tpe) 21-16, 21-2
Angga Pratama-Rickey Karanda Suwardi (Ina) beat Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) 21-12, 13-21, 21-15
Fu Haifeng-Zhang Nan (Chn) beat Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang 21-12, 21-8
Go Ah-ra-Yoo Hae-won (Kor) beat Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (Mas) 21-16, 21-16