Hong Kong Open

Lee shrugs off pain to set up final clash with Lin

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 December, 2007, 12:00am

Second seed Lee Chong Wei shrugged off a nagging knee problem to reach his second Super Series final in as many weeks.

The Malaysian ace, who also made it to the final of the China Open in Guangzhou last week, defeated Kenneth Jonassen of Denmark 21-13, 21-17 at the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open in front of a capacity crowd of 3,000 at Queen Elizabeth Stadium yesterday.

'I strained my left knee tendon during training before the Denmark Open in September and I aggravated the injury at the French Open and again at the China Open last week,' said Lee, who packed his knee in ice to lessen the pain after his victory against the Dane.

'I took a painkiller before the match and will probably need it again before the final.'

Despite the injury, Lee said he had never thought of pulling out of the tournament. 'The Hong Kong Open is the last Super Series event of the year ... I want to end the season on a high,' he said.

Lee will meet top seed Lin Dan of China today - a repeat of last year's final when the mainlander won 2-0.

Lin advanced after his semi-final opponent, compatriot Chen Jin, withdrew when trailing 21-16, 10-6 because of a back injury.

'It was an old problem and I aggravated it when I made two flat returns in the second game,' said Chen.

In the women's singles, it will be an all-China affair featuring the world number one against the world champion. Top seed Xie Xingfang, who thrashed another mainlander, Lu Lan, 21-8, 21-10, will meet Zhu Lin, who won the world title after defeating Hong Kong's Wang Chen in August.

'Lu tried to be aggressive today, but the shuttlecock was too slow for her tactics to be effective,' said Xie, who has yet to drop a game in this tournament. 'I am still a bit fresh and am looking forward to playing against Zhu in the final.'

Zhu was given a scare by South Korea's Jun Jae-youn in the semis after losing the first game 21-11, but the 23-year-old showed great composure to take the next two games 21-10, 21-16.

Elsewhere, fifth seed Du Jing and Yu Yang of China overcame compatriots Gao Ling and Zhou Tingting 19-21, 21-17, 21-16 to reach the final of the women's doubles.

They will now take on top seeds Wei Yili and Zhang Yawen in another all-China affair. Wei and Zhang cruised to a 21-16, 21-13 victory over Cheng Wen-hsing and Chien Yu-chin of Taiwan.

Gao, however, faced a much easier semi-final in the mixed doubles where she is partnered with Zheng Bo. The top seeds advanced to the final after receiving a walkover from compatriots Xie Zhongbo and Zhang Yawen. They will now meet Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia, the number two seeds.

In the men's doubles final, Indonesia's Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan will play Candra Wijaya of Indonesia and Tony Gunawa of the United States.