Hong Kong Open

Wang has edge over Zhu

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 January, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong's Wang Chen will take on Zhu Lin of China in the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Super Series in Kuala Lumpur today - a repeat of the world championship final.

They each went through their second-round matches in three sets yesterday to set up the clash.

Although Wang lost to the mainlander when they last met, in the world final in August, the Hong Kong number one holds a better head-to-head record in their six previous encounters.

'It is going to be a very close match,' said Hong Kong coach Chan Chi-choi. 'Wang has a better track record against Zhu but the mainlander is one of the fast-improving youngsters on the world circuit.'

Wang also lost to Zhu in the bronze-medal play-off at the National Games in Nanjing in 2005 - a match in which Wang only played the first couple of points before walking off the court, citing unfair treatment during the semi-final when she lost to another mainlander.

However, Wang was the winner in their four other encounters, including a 2-0 win in the Indonesia Super Series in May last year.

In yesterday's second round, Wang needed to overcome a shaky start before finding her touch and routing unfancied Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria 17-21, 21-11, 21-10. Zhu was also taken to three sets, by Hong Kong's Zhou Mi, before taking the match 11-21, 21-17, 21-16.

It was Zhu's third victory in a row against Zhou since the latter moved to Hong Kong last year under the government's Quality Migrant Admission Scheme.

In the men's singles, there was a major upset when 2004 Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat was knocked out by fellow Indonesian Simon Santoso in the second round.

Taufik had no excuses for the 21-18, 21-16 drubbing, refusing to blame a back injury suffered prior to the Malaysian event. 'My back injury is no excuse for my bad performance today. I simply lost,' he said.