Lee Chong Wei advances to Singapore Open final, Du Pengyu out

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-4-13 8:58:18

Du Pengyu of China competes during the men's singles semi-final match at the OUE Singapore Open badminton tournament against Simon Santoso of Indonesia in Singapore, April 12, 2014. Simon Santoso won 2-1. Photo: Xinhua

World No. 7 Du Pengyu of China lost a close battle against Indonesian veteran Simon Santoso (16-21, 21-17, 21-17) in the semifinals of the Singapore Open on Saturday, while world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia defeated India's rising star K. Srikanth.

Srikanth, a 21-year-old who is currently 25th on the world rankings, put up a tough fight against Lee and was once leading 19-16 in the first set.

But Lee, who remained the world No. 1 over the past five years, reeled off five consecutive points to take the opener. The 31-year-old was more aggressive in the second set and eventually won 21-18.

Lee would be facing Simon Santoso in the final on Sunday.

"I ... nothing to lose. I just play well and enjoy the match (tomorrow)," said Lee.

Lee, who had said earlier he would be more selective in deciding which tournaments to play, reiterated that he was not retiring and would try "one more" time for the Olympic Games in 2016.

Lee finished runner-up twice to China's Lin Dan in the Olympics in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

Du had been the only Chinese player left in the men's singles after teammates Chen Yuekun and Gao Huan crashed out in the second round. Six of the world's top ten players including China's Chen Long and Wang Zhengming skipped the tournament.

Du won the first set but was behind for most of the time in the second and third sets.

"He (Santoso) sped up a bit in second and third sets, so he was a bit faster than me," Du told reporters afterwards.

In the women's singles, Li Xuerui, China's world No. 1 and Olympic gold medallist, eased past South Korea's Sung Ji Hyun 21-13 and 21-13.

Li said she was in better form after struggling through the second round against Minatsu Mitani of Japan.

"Whatever the result, win or lose, is normal, but I still long for the title and I want to win," said Li.

World No. 2 Wang Yihan had little trouble against teammate Han Li in the other semifinal, winning 21-18, 21-12 to progress.

China's Cai Yun/Lu Kai, who started to team up just several months ago, made it to the men's doubles final with a hard-earned 21-19, 21-16 victory over South Korea's Kim Sa Rang/Yoo Yeon Seong.

"Lu Kai did very well today," the 34-year-old Cai said of his younger partner.

"We are improving in teamwork. We were a bit more ferocious today, so I think they had a bit of pressure and were a bit rigid, " he added.

Cai Yun/Lu Kai will next play six-seeded Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin of Chinese Taipei.

In the women's doubles, top-seeded Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Huhl of Denmark beat third-seeded Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi 11-21, 21-15 and 21-14. They will be facing up against China's world No. 2 duo Bao Yixin/Tang Jinhua.

In the mixed doubles, top-seeded Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir brushed aside China's Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin 21-12/22-20. They will be competing against their teammates Riky Widianto/Puspita Richi Dili in the final on Sunday. The latter defeated third-seeded Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na 20-22, 21-17 and 21-16.

Posted in: Miscellany, Eye on the ball

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