Fans cheering Malaysia on at the Thomas Cup semi-final match against Indonesia on May 23, 2014. World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is hoping for the support of fans in Malaysia when the team take on Japan in the final.
NEW DELHI: There is a feeling of quiet confidence in Malaysia’s Thomas Cup camp but world number one Lee Chong Wei, who is making his first appearance in a final, does not want his team-mates to take Japan lightly.
Malaysia have crept into the final after solid performances over fellow Thomas Cup contenders South Korea (3-2), Denmark (3-1) and Indonesia (3-0).
Victory was already asssured without going down to the third singles tie so far but Chong Wei said it would be foolish to regard a team making their maiden final appearance as pushovers.
“People did not believe China could be beaten by a 3-0 margin by Japan, but it happened.
“The China team are strong but I felt they did not have the depth compared to the last two Thomas Cup editions.
“Japan are not easy for us as they are very confident after clearing China in such convincing fashion.
“We also want to win the Thomas Cup as it has been 22 years but it would be wrong to think it is ours now with teams like China and Indonesia already gone,” said Chong Wei, who is hoping for support from Malaysians back home.
“No one believed we could reach the final but I think the support and unity of the team made the difference this time.
“I am sure many people back home will be following tomorrow and I hope they give their support to all the players. We will try our best to bring the Thomas Cup back and rest assured, we will not give up.
“Pray for us that we succeed.
“The most important thing now is for us to rest and sleep well today.
“We must keep the same spirit going into the final, like when we took on South Korea, Denmark and Indonesia earlier,” said the reigning All-England champion.
Chong Wei has played in many big games, including two Olympic finals but today will be a first for him.
“The team event is different. If you lose, the team is affected.
“This is my first time playing in a Thomas Cup final and I would be lying if I say I am not nervous.
“But I will try my best to get the first point to make it easier for everyone,” said Chong Wei, who is in his sixth campaign in New Delhi.