Wang's victory ensures Hong Kong enjoy a presence in Open final

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 November, 2008, 12:00am

Home favourite Wang Chen produced her best result since her disappointing Olympic Games campaign to reach the semi-finals of the Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open last night.

The 32-year-old was fully extended by Saina Nehwal of India before clinching a hard-fought 2-1 win at Queen Elizabeth Stadium - reversing the result when the duo last met in the Beijing Games in August when Wang lost 2-1 in the second round to the 19-year-old.

'It was exhausting,' said Wang (pictured) after the gruelling 52-minute match. 'My stomach muscles are hurting, but I am very happy I was able to hang in there and win against a much younger player.'

She will face compatriot Zhou Mi in today's semi-finals, ensuring that for the first time in the tournament's 21-year history a Hong Kong player will contest the women's final.

World number one Zhou lived up to expectations, defeating Hong Kong teammate Yip Pui-yin 2-1.

The other semi-final will be an all-Chinese-affair as Xie Xingfang plays Zhu Lin, a repeat of last year's final in which Xie prevailed 2-1.

Olympic silver medallist Xie, who is on track to win her third consecutive Hong Kong title, beat Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria 21-16, 21-12 yesterday while Zhu had an equally easy victory against Hwang Hye-youn of South Korea.

In the men's singles, third seed and Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Chen Jin of China reached the semi-finals by thrashing compatriot Gong Weijie 21-8, 21-10. He will take on Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand, an Athens Games bronze medallist.

In the men's doubles, Olympic gold medallists Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia failed to reach the last four, eliminated in straight games by Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia.

Long time coming

Times Hong Kong has made it into the women's final in the last 21 years: 0