Lee reaches first All-England final
Lee Chong Wei signalled his determination to atone for his defeat in the Olympic final in Beijing six months ago with an impressive performance in reaching the final of the All-England Open for the first time.other Updated: Mar 07, 2009 20:18 IST
Lee Chong Wei signalled his determination to atone for his defeat in the Olympic final in Beijing six months ago with an impressive performance in reaching the final of the All-England Open for the first time.
The top-seeded Malaysian destroyed Taufik Hidayat, the former Olympic and world champion from Indonesia 21-8, 21-13 in little more than half an hour in a match in which the outcome was almost never in doubt.
True, Hidayat looked a little slow after his superb but tiring preformance in bringing down Peter Gade, the former world number one from Denmark, the day before, and going to three games with England's Andrew Smith the day before that.
But Lee was explosive in attack, resilient in defence, and occasionally inspired as he contained the best shots that his celebrated opponent could throw at him.
The first game was one way traffic, partly because Taufik's error ratio was so high. The second saw Taufik play much better, and Lee's standard improved by even more.
The highlight was a sensational rally at 13-12, when Taufik was well in the match, but no matter how hard he tried to push for a winner with smashes and attempted kills, Lee plunged around the court and got everything back.
The Malaysian then played an express sequence of piston-like mid-court exchanges, and finished the point with a winning jab.
That took the momentum out of Taufik's partial recovery, and it was not long before Lee was making rapid progress, often with smashes to the body, which sometimes exposed the Indonesian as a little slow.
"Everyone wants to see a repeat of the Olympic final," said Lee afterwards. "And I will do my best. If I do play him it will be a difficult match."
Lin Dab was due to play Chen Jin, the defending All-England champion from China, in the other semi-final.