Wednesday, August 1, 2012 | | By: Febi

Chong Wei gives improved display to reach quarter-finals

MALAYSIA’S Lee Chong Wei showed that his ankle injury is in the past as he stormed into the quarter-finals of the men’s singles badminton event at the Wembley Arena.

The Malaysian, taking part in his first competition since injuring his ankle in the Thomas Cup Finals in May, gave an improved performance to oust Indonesia’s Simon Santoso 21-12, 21-8 in just 34 minutes in yesterday’s last 16 match.

“It was a good match for me as I enjoyed my time on court. It was also better than my first match as I was able to stay in control this time. The opening match is always the hardest and getting through it has boosted my confidence,” said Chong Wei, who struggled for three games to get past Finland’s Ville Lang in Monday’s group match.

“I feel better with my game now and I hope to keep improving.”
Chong Wei will take on India’s Kashyap Parupalli in today’s quarter-final (12.01am tomorrow Malaysian time).

The Indian shuttler defeated Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne 21-14, 15-21, 21-9 to book his quarter-final berth.

Chong Wei has played against the world No. 21 Kashyap twice – in the 2011 Denmark Open and 2010 Commonwealth Games – and won both times.

“I have played the Indian before and won. But I will not underestimate him. At this stage every player must be treated with respect,’ he said.

Yesterday’s win saw Chong Wei extend his winning run over Simon to 8-1.
The only time Simon got the better of Chong Wei was in the Japan Open in 2009, when he won 19-21, 21-15, 21-19.

But there was no fear of a repeat yesterday as Chong Wei was in control of the game, although he did make some mistakes.

The first game saw Chong Wei get off to his customary slow start. However, he slowly but steadily built up his lead.

Simon tried to engage Chong Wei in long rallies but the Malaysian was wise to it, going for the quick kill whenever possible to take the first game 21-12 in 17 minutes.

If there is anything that Chong Wei needs to work on, it will be his net play. He continued to make mistakes at the net, just like when he played against Lang.

The second game saw Chong Wei go 4-0 up in one minute before Simon got his first point.
Chong Wei then moved to 8-4 and 11-5 as he turned on his attacking game.

He conceded just three more points before sealing the game 21-8 to book his quarter-final ticket.
Chong Wei’s biggest hurdle, top seed Lin Dan had little trouble making the last eight from the bottom half as he packed off Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat 21-9, 21-12.



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