India’s campaign came to a premature halt in the All-England badminton championship with Saina Nehwal bowing out in the quarterfinals of the women’s singles event, here.
Seventh-seeded Saina lost 21-17, 21-10 against Chinese fourth seed Shixian Wang in Friday’s quarterfinal duel which lasted 43 minutes.
World No.1 Lee Chong Wei earned himself a revenge attempt with All-England champion Chen Long after escaping from close defeat to achieve a breathtaking victory.
The Malaysian did that with a 14-21, 21-19, 21-15 win over Son Wan Ho, the in-form World No. 11 from Korea, after being close to the exit at a game down and 15-17 and 17-18 down in the second.
Lee was asked if his late-night match with Kento Momota of Japan, followed by a 1 p.m. start had affected his performance in the first half. when he lost 15 out of 20 points at one stage to relinquish the first game. “It was okay,” he said diplomatically, although his wide grin had suggested it might have been a problem.
The final will see him against Chen Long for the second successive year, and the World No.2 from China is likely to be at least as formidable as when he surprised Lee last time.
Lee Chong Wei’s performance in the 21-14, 21-18 win over Kento Momota which carried him to the semifinals of the All-England Open appears to have increased his belief that he can win the title back.
The world No.10 from Korea took out fifth-seeded Japanese Kenichi Tago, a former finalist here, 21-15, 21-17 on Saturday.
Perhaps Lee was heartened by the way he switched so fluidly between defence and attack, and by how easy his movement, in cool conditions, which have bothered some other players, still managed to be.
There is no Lin Dan to frustrate Lee this time, but another Chinese player, the defending champion Chen Long, is going well, reaching the semifinals with a patiently carved out 18-21, 21-11, 21-14 victory over Hans-Christian Vittinghus.
The results: Men: Semifinal: Lee Chong Wei bt Son Wan Ho 14-21, 21-19, 21-15; Chen Long bt Wang Zhengming 21-17, 21-14.
Quarterfinals: Chen Long (Chn) bt Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den) 18-21, 21-11, 21-14; Wang Zhengming (Chn) bt Lee Dong Keun (Kor) 21-13, 16-21, 21-17; Son Wan-Ho (Kor) bt Kenichi Tago (Jpn) 21-15, 21-17; Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Kento Momota (Jpn) 21-14, 21-18.
Women: Semifinal: Wang Shixian bt Wang Yihan 21-8, 21-15; Li Xuerui bt Ratchanok Intanon 21-18, 21-8.
Quarterfinals: Wang Shixian (Chn) bt Saina Nehwal 21-17, 21-10; Wang Yihan (Chn) bt Bae Yeon-Ju (Kor) 21-8, 21-13.
Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Michelle Li (Can) 23-21, 21-15; Li Xuerui (Chn) bt Sung Ji Hyun (Kor) 21-17, 21-18.
Men’s doubles: Hiroyuki Endo & Kenichi Hayakawa (JPN) bt Angga Pratama & Ryan Agung Saputra (INA) 22-20, 25-21, 21-19; Markis Kido & Gideon Fernaldi (INA) bt Hoon Thien How & Tan Wee Kiong (MAS) 21-18, 21-12.
Ko Sung Hyun & Shin Baek Choel (Kor) bt Lee Sheng Mu & Tsai Chia Hsin (TPE) 21-17, 19-21, 21-14; Mohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan (INA) bt Fu Haifeng & Zhang Nan (CHN) 23-21, 22-20.
Women’s doubles: Misaki Matsumoto & Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) bt Pia Bernadeth & Rizki Pradipta (INA) 16-21, 21-9, 21-18; Ma Jin & Tang Yuanting (CHN) bt Lee So Hee & Shin Seung Chan (KOR) 21-17, 12-21, 21-17; Yu Yang & Wang Xiaoli (CHN) bt Jang Ye Na & Kim So Young (KOR) 21-9, 21-14; Tian Qing & Zhao Yunlei (CHN) bt Reika Kakiiwa & Miyuki Maeda (JPN) 22-20, 21-15.
Mixed doubles: Tontowi Ahmad & Lilyana Natsir (INA) bt Danny Chrisnanta & Yu Yan Neo (SIN) 21-12, 17-21, 21-12; Zhang Nan & Zhao Yunlei (CHN) bt Chris Adcock & Gabrielle Adcock (ENG) 21-10, 21-13.