Mr Dependable: Lee Chong Wei showed no mercy to his Thai opponent, winning his Singapore Open quarter-final match in just 30 minutes on Friday. - AFP
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s hopes of a Singapore Open double were dashed when only world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei was left to hold the fort – as usual.
While the 31-year-old Chong Wei bulldozed his way into the men’s singles semi-finals on Friday, his compatriots and national No. 1 men’s doubles pair Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong failed to follow suit after losing 16-21, 14-21 in just 29 minutes to Taiwan’s Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin.
Top seed and 2008 Singapore Open champion Chong Wei was not in the mood to fool around when he disposed of Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-8, 21-14 in just 30 minutes in the quarter-finals.
He will now take on India’s 20-year-old K. Srikanth, who is touted to be the country’s next big star.
World No. 25 Srikanth continued his gallant run in the fifth leg of the Superseries when he battled his way to a 17-21, 21-14, 21-19 win over Hu Yun of Hong Kong in 63 minutes.
Chong Wei has played against Srikanth once, thrashing the Indian in straight games in the opening match at last year’s Hong Kong Open.
This time, three-time All-England champion Chong Wei can expect more resistance if Srikanth’s impressive form is anything to go by.
With only Chong Wei left in the fray, Malaysia’s six-year wait for a double victory in the Singapore Open continues.
In 2008, Malaysia won the singles through Chong Wei and the doubles through Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari.
The other men’s singles semi-final will be between China’s Du Pengyu and a resurgent Simon Santoso of Indonesia.
National doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang said that Thien How-Wee Kiong flopped because “their game at the front court was a letdown”.
“They have beaten the Taiwanese players before (at last year’s Macau Open), this time their opponents raised their game and played with a better strategy,” said Cheh Chang.
“The Taiwanese duo were impressive at the front court and broke Wee Kiong’s rhythm. Wee Kiong’s usual good control at the net lacked quality today.”