Lee Chong Wei beat Son Wan-ho of South Korea to reach the All-England final. - AFP
BIRMINGHAM: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei faced his toughest opponent yet but ultimately prevailed as he stepped up his quest for a third All-England crown.
Going up against an extremely talented Kento Momota of Japan, Chong Wei had to be on his toes at all times before registering a 21-14, 21-18 win.
Playing in one of the last matches of the day at 11pm on Friday, Chong Wei appeared to be in a rush as he offered the 20-year-old Momota very few opportunities to manoeuvre, taking the first game 21-14.
Momota, however, grew into the match and started to showcase just what he could do with a racquet as he put Chong Wei on the backfoot on several occasions in the game.
But Chong Wei eventually pulled through with his experience for a place in the semi-finals.
“That was probably my toughest match of the week because Momota is a very good player who has improved a lot from his junior days,” said Chong Wei.
“I had to be very alert in my match but I’m happy to win and I’m looking forward to the next match.”
The 31-year-old Penangite will next meet South Korea’s Son Wan-ho, who pulled off a superb win over Japan’s fifth seed Kenichi Tago.
Wan-ho who last defeated Chong Wei in the 2012 India Open, won 21-15, 21-17.
The other semi-final will be between defending champion Chen Long of China and compatriot Wang Zhengming after the duo won the their quarter-final matches in three games each.