Lee Chong Wei to play Lin Dan in Japan Open final
Tokyo:World number one and top seed Lee Chong Wei breezed past Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand on Saturday to set up a final showdown with old foe Lin Dan at the Japan Open in Tokyo.
The Malaysian, winner here in 2007, pulled off a 21-13, 21-18 win in his semi, while Lin, China`s Beijing Olympic gold medalist, powered his way through to a 21-11, 21-19 over European champion Peter Gade of Denmark.
It will be a re-match of the 2008 Olympic Games, when the Chinese defeated Lee 21-12, 21-8 in the final.
In the women`s singles, Wang Xin whipped European champion Tine Baun of Denmark 21-17, 21-16 to make it an all-Chinese final against Jiang Yanjiao, winner over compatriot Wang Shixian 21-19, 23-21.
"I lost to Boonsak only once a long time ago, so I was confident to beat him today," said Lee, who needed only 37 minutes in winning.
Lin, the three-time former world champion, did not have it all his own way against veteran Gade, going down 3-7 in the second game as the Dane hit a couple of good smashes and a quick attack at the net.
Gade, two-time champion here in 1998 and 1999, kept the lead to 16-12 before Lin started to notch up points to catch up at 18-18, when the Dane hit wide against Lin`s low serve.
Gade made it 19-19 with an overhead drop shot, but his backhand landed in the net to go down again, allowing Lin to finish off the 45-minute match with a jump smash.
"I was in fine form. I think Peter was also in good form. It was a match that either of us could win. I`m very happy to win such a close match. I was able to play with speed," said Lin, winner here in 2005 and 2006.
Gade said: "I know he is going to play very fast. I just wanted not to be stressed by the pace and just be calm and play my game. But he was playing very sharp and fast and he was good at the net."
Wang Xin, who became the new world number one in the rankings issued on Thursday, said Baun`s shots and her attacks are "very dangerous" as she is tall.
"I just played tenaciously. I think that`s why I won. For me, it`s my second appearance in the Japan Open and the second time to reach the final. I`m very happy about it. Hopefully, I can win this time," said Wang.
She lost to compatriot Wang Yihan in last year`s final.
The other semi-final winner, Jiang, said: "It`s the first time to play the Japan Open final for me. I`ll try to do my best to play my usual game."