Badminton: Chong Wei on track for singles title

KUALA LUMPUR: One title is in the bag and Malaysia can expect another from national number one Lee Chong Wei if his superb form in the Singapore Open badminton championships is anything to go by.

Yesterday, Malaysia confirmed the men’s doubles title when Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and Gan Teik Chai-Woon Lin Fui made it an all-Malaysian affair after winning their semi-final matches in convincing fashions

The unseeded Zakry-Fairuzizuan defeated South Koreans Cho Gun-woo-Yoo Yeon-seong21-17, 21-15 in just 32 minutes while Teik Chai-Woon Fui ended the gallant run of younger compatriots Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Tan Wee Kiong with a 21-16, 21-16 win.

Zakry said he was determined to win his first Open title – as a perfect gift for his father Abdul Latif.

“My father has been the pillar of strength for me in my badminton career. Father’s Day is tomorrow (today) and a win will be the greatest gift from me for him,” said Zakry in a telephone interview from Singapore yesterday.

Despite being the more fancied pair, Zakry is bracing himself for a challenging battle.

“They (Teik Chai-Woon Fui) are our training partners. We have beaten them and they have won matches against us. It will be close.

“But it is rare for us to get a good chance like this (on the absence of several top pairs). We were in the final of the Indonesian Open last year but we muffed it up. This time, we want to get it right,” added Zakry, who did well with Fairuzizuan in their Thomas Cup debut in Jakarta last month.

But the talk yesterday was on Chong Wei’s fantastic 21-18, 21-13 win over the 2006 champion Peter Gade-Christensen of Denmark in the semi-finals yesterday.

Chong Wei will take on Indonesian Simon Santoso today and he will be more than determined to win his first Singapore Open title.

Yesterday, Chong Wei was trailing in most of the first game actions against Gade-Christensen but pulling level at 18-18, the Malaysian displayed some great badminton to win it 21-18.

In the second, Chong Wei was more confident with his tight net play and deceptive shots to romp home for a comfortable 21-13 win

Despite a good performances, Chong Wei cannot underestimate the Indonesia's Simon, whom he had lost to once during one of the SEA Games badminton competition.

It was however, the end of road for Wong Mew Choo when she went down 10-21, 20-22 to Denmark’s Tine Rasmussen in the women’s singles semi-finals yesterday.

Rasmussen, who continued to make her mark in the world of badminton, will take on Hong Kong’s Zhou Mi in a bid to win her fourth Open title. Her three other titles were won at the All-England and the Malaysian and Japan Opens.

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