Hong Kong’s up-and-coming badminton star Cheung Ngan-yi reaches first Superseries semi-final, while Lee Chong Wei is stunned
Malaysian ace knocked out on his birthday by unseeded Frenchman at Denmark Open
World number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia was handed the worst birthday present possible after he was blown out of the Denmark Open to unseeded Brice Leverdez of France – while Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan-yi, also unseeded, reached her first ever Superseries semi-final in the women’s singles.
Celebrating his 34th birthday in Odense, the Malaysian ace was stunned by Leverdez in three gruelling games 17-21, 22-20, 19-21 after 77 minutes, ending Lee’s dream of winning his fourth title at the US$700,000 tournament.
The Frenchman, who also ousted fifth seed Chou Tien-Chan of Taiwan in the second round, is now in his first ever Superseries Premier semi-final where he will take on another unseeded player Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand. The other semi-final features two South Korea players – Lee Hyun II and sixth seed Son Wan Ho.
Lee said after the defeat that he would like to give a lot of credit to Leverdez who played the match of his life.
Hong Kong’s Cheung will take on fifth seed Tai Tzu-Ying of Taiwan in an attempt to challenge for her first Superseries title.
Cheung shrugged off the disappointment after losing out to fellow teammate Yip Pui-yin in the battle to reach the Rio Olympics this summer as the 23-year-old defeated Sayaka Sato of Japan in straight games 21-19, 21-12.
The up-and-comer’s best result in a Superseries tournament was a quarter-final berth in last year’s Malaysia Open when Cheung was defeated by world number one Caroline Marin of Spain, who will be playing in the other semi-final in Odense against Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.