All England Badminton
March 10, 2012 by staff
All England Badminton, Lee Chong Wei moved to within one win of his third successive All-England Open title when he edged past an old rival, Lee Hyun-Il 21-19, 21-18, on Saturday to reach the final.
Lee Chong Wei, pictured, moved to within one win of his third successive All-England Open title when he edged past an old rival, Lee Hyun-Il 21-19, 21-18, to reach the final, in Birmingham.
No men’s singles player has achieved that since Rudy Hartono, the Indonesian great 38 years ago, but Lee’s movement and ability to respond quickly to changing situations suggest he is well capable of it.
The world number one from Malaysia established an early four-point lead over the former world number one from Korea, but was caught at 17-17 and again at 18-18.
Chong Wei was patient and accurate at the net and with clears at that stage, but he had to deal with an even greater comeback from Hyun-Il in the second game.
Often defending brilliantly, and finding unexpected angles with his left-handed slices, the Korean came back from 9-18 to 16-18 before Chong-Wei managed to force some smashes through and close the match out.
“I was well prepared today, but I have to improve my attacking,” the champion said. “I woke up with some pain in my hand today – I don’t know why – but I managed to play through it all right.”
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