SEREMBAN: The real fight will finally take place today when top seed and defending champion Lee Chong Wei takes on Lee Tsuen Seng in the semi-finals of the Proton-EON National Grand Prix Finals at the Negri Sembilan Chinese Recreation Club (NSCRC) Hall.
Yesterday, both shuttlers lived up to expectations, completing their respective group matches unbeaten to set up the much-awaited showdown.
They hardly broke sweat en route to winning their games yesterday.
Chong Wei tamed an exhausted Ramesh Nathan 15-1, 15-3 in 16 minutes to emerge as Group A champion while Tsuen Seng breezed past Ismail Saman 15-1, 15-5 in 15 minutes.
After two days of tame affairs, Chong Wei and Tsuen Seng are gearing up for an explosive match today.
Said the 22-year-old Chong Wei: “We are about the same standard. The match can go either way, depending on who makes the least mistakes.
“It has been smooth sailing for me so far. But I expect a tough fight from Tsuen Seng. I am determined to stay on track to win my second GP Finals title,” added Chong Wei, who is currently ranked higher than Tsuen Seng in the national and world standings.
Tsuen Seng said a win over Chong Wei would strengthen his claim for a place in the next month’s Thomas Cup qualifying tournament.
“I am looking forward to a good start after a bad spell last year. If I lose, it will be tougher for me to fight for a place in the Thomas Cup squad. A win over Chong Wei will certainly do wonders for my confidence,” said Tsuen Seng.
“It will not be easy to beat him. He has improved. From being a junior player, he has moved up and now we are about the same standard.”
Except for an internal tournament hosted by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) last year, Chong Wei and Tsuen Seng have not played each other. At the BAM Elite Challenge, Chong Wei came out tops.
The other men’s singles semi-final will be between national shuttlers Kuan Beng Hong and Yeoh Kay Bin.
Beng Hong did not even have to lift his racquet for a place in the semi-finals when his opponent Allan Tai conceded a walkover.
Kay Bin, however, slogged to beat the much-improved back-up shuttler K. Yogendran 15-11, 15-4 to set-up the meeting with Beng Hong.