The unlikely all-Malaysia final in the men’s singles was a reality as 4th seeded Wong Choong Hann defeated Taufik Hidayat in yesterday’s semi final to set up a final against top seed and world #1 Lee Chong Wei in today’s final.
Before the men’s singles, it was an all-Hong Kong women’s singles final between Yip Pui Yin (seeded 3) against Zhou Mi (seeded 2). Both players had came through three-game encounters in the semi final, with Yip Pui Yin defeating top seeded Pi Hongyan to reach the final. The pair shared the opening two games to set up a third game decider, which Zhou Mi lead for the majority of before giving up her lead whilst leading 19-18 in the third and the 3rd seeded brilliantly served out to win the match 21-19 in the final game.
Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido won the men’s doubles in an all-Indonesian final against Gunawan and Yulianto. After dropping the opening game 21-8, Kido and Setiawan responded by winning the next two games, 21-17, 21-12. There was more Indonesian success in the mixed doubles, with Lahardi and Natsir defeating the 3rd seeded Thai pairing of Sudket and Saralee in three games, winning 13-21, 21-16, 21-17.
Thailand did have one winner, in the women’s doubles as 4th Duanganong and Kunchala defeated the unseeded Malaysian pair of Ng and Ng in three games. Malaysia was guaranteed at least one title, in the men’s singles. Lee Chong Wei was the clear favourite and dominated the opening game, winning it 21-8 before the 4th seed fought back to take the second game 21-14 to set up a deciding game. Wong Choong Hann took a very early lead at 1-0 and would never take the lead again in the deciding game, as Lee Chong Wei had as much as a 10-point lead at one stage, before taking the final game by 21 points to 15.
Friday is Quarter Final day in Malaysia and the main attraction is safely into the last 8. Lee Chong Wei progressed through his three matches to date without the loss of a single game on route to the Quarter Final where he will play Andre Kurniawan Tedjono of Indonesia, seeded 8. The Indonesian has also failed to drop a game on route to the last 8 but this is his biggest test to date, after a easy 21-9, 21-9 victory over Chong Chieh Lok of Malaysia in the Round of 16.
The local fans will also be treated to an all-Malaysia clash in the last 8, with Muhammad Hafiz Hashim (seeded 6) playing against Wong Choong Hann (seeded 4) in the 3rd of tomorrow’s quarterfinal matches. The final quarterfinal pits 5th seeded Yun Hu of Hong Kong against Lee Chong Wei’s main rival this week, the second seeded Taufik Hidayat, who was well tested in the round of 16 by the 13th seeded Tan Chun Seang of Malaysia.
There is interest in the women’s draw too, with 4th seeded Mew Choo Wong through to the last 8 after two comfortable victories. The 4th seed will play against the 8th seeded Tzs Ka Chan of Hong Kong whose progression has been more of a struggle than the Malaysian. There is more interest with Tee Jing Yi, the unseeded player has came through a duo of three game victories to reach the last 8 of the competition, however she faces her toughest test in the quarter final in the 3rd seeded Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong. Top seed Pi Hongyan has struggled through a couple of three game victories and will need to find some form in her match against Salakjit Ponsana, seeded 5 in the quarter final.
Malaysia are also guaranteed at least one semi-finalist as the top seeded Koo and Tan take on countrymen Mak and Tan in the first of the quarter finals. There is another opportunity in the 2nd quarterfinal as 6th seeded Gan and Tan play against Indonesians Gunawan and Yulianto for a place in the last 4. The bottom half of the draw however is devoid of Malaysian interest, with 2nd seeded Kido and Widanto looking to be the favourites to reach the final from their half of the draw.