Lee makes short work of Wang to reach q-finals

Badminton world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei injured his knee on a badminton mat in Kuala Lumpur four weeks ago.
Badminton world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei injured his knee on a badminton mat in Kuala Lumpur four weeks ago.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Badminton world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei again proved a master of adaptability and economy as he overcame both Wang Tzu-wei and the discomfort of his knee injury to reach the quarter-finals of the All England Championships.

He defended economically, controlled most of the rallies at a pace which was comfortable, defended sensibly and mixed up the patterns cleverly as he squeezed past 21-18, 21-18 the world No. 21 from Chinese Taipei in 39 minutes yesterday.

The troublesome knee, which Lee damaged on a badminton mat in Kuala Lumpur four weeks ago, is still not completely healed, and it was notable that the Malaysian did not say he had come to win the All England title again.

There were, he thought, about five possible winners.

"I just try to forget my injury," he said, when asked what he had tried to do.

A little later, he appeared to comment that "I just focus on my condition", perhaps describing what determined his movement.

He was, he agreed, playing a little more comfortably than on Wednesday and would focus optimistically on his next task - a clash with last year's runner-up, Tian Houwei, the Chinese seventh seed who beat India's H.S. Prannoy 21-13, 21-5 .

If Lee wins, there could be a repeat of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games final against his conqueror Chen Long.

In the women's singles, Indian sixth seed Pusarla Sindhu beat Indonesia's Dinar Ayustine 21-12, 21-4 to enter the third round .

Seventh seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan beat Chinese Taipei's Chiang Mei-hui 21-19, 20-22, 21-15 while Indian eighth seed Saina Nehwal prevailed over Germany's Fabienne Deprez 21-18, 21-10.

On Wednesday, Yamaguchi had beaten Singapore's Liang Xiaoyu 21-16, 21-12 in her opener.

The Republic's mixed doubles team of Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han also made an early exit, after they were knocked out 9-21, 18-21 by England's Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2017, with the headline 'Lee makes short work of Wang to reach q-finals'. Print Edition | Subscribe