Lee banking on home support against Chen

KUALA LUMPUR • Lee Chong Wei stormed into the final of badminton's Malaysian Open yesterday, defeating Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen 21-7, 21-14 to set up a clash with Chinese world No. 1 Chen Long.

The Malaysian world No. 4, who suffered early exits at the All England Championships and India Open last month, was back in fine form against Jorgensen, using his signature overhead smashes and nifty net play to wrap up the encounter in 35 minutes.

"I am looking forward to winning my 11th (Malaysian Open) title. My confidence and court feeling gets better with each game and I am now only one more game away from the title," said Lee.

"I have to be patient against him (Chen) and can't be constantly on the attack. He is a tall player and has good court coverage, but I will have home support to hopefully see me over the finish line."

Lee had missed last year's edition because of a suspension after testing positive for dexamethasone, a banned anti-inflammatory, at the World Championships in 2014.

Defending champion Chen admitted he was fortunate in his semi-final against Indonesia's rising star Jonatan Christie, after defeating the 18-year-old 8-21, 21-19, 21-14.

"I am lucky to have made the final. If he didn't commit the crucial mistakes in the second game, it would have been a different story. The final will be the home crowd against me, but I am hoping they appreciate my game when I play him (Lee)," said Chen, who heads a list of stars for this week's OUE Singapore Open.

In the women's semi-finals, India's Saina Nehwal suffered another defeat by her nemesis, Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei.

Olympic bronze medallist Nehwal, who has lost to world No. 9 Tai seven times in 12 meetings, including an All England quarter-final loss, fell 19-21, 13-21.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 10, 2016, with the headline 'Lee banking on home support against Chen'. Print Edition | Subscribe