Lee Chong Wei is just one step away from winning his fifth Japan Open title.
In Tokyo on Saturday, world No. 1 Chong Wei stepped up a gear to destroy Kenichi Tago 21-15, 21-17 in 47 minutes to extend his head-to-head record against the Japanese to 17-1.
The 31-year-old Chong Wei will take on surprise finalist Hu Yun, the world No. 15, of Hong Kong in the final. Hu Yun continued his gallant run by upsetting third seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark 21-13, 19-21, 21-15 in a 62-minute semi-final match. On Friday, the 32-year-old Hubei-born Hu Yun had dumped second seed and 2013 All-England champion Chen Long of China in the quarter finals.
National singles coach Tey Seu Bock was delighted with Chong Wei’s performance, but chose to remain cautious about his charge’s chances against Hu Yun in the final.
“Chong Wei played with a better focus today than he did in his earlier matches. He led all the way to underline his confidence and good grasp of Tago’s movements on court,” said Seu Bock.
“Japan seems to be Chong Wei’s happy hunting ground. He has won here four times (2007, 2010, 2012, 2013). One of his main sponsors, Yonex, is based here and I guess he is motivated to keep them happy.
“Chong Wei will be the favourite, but we should not write off Hu Yun. He defeated Chen Long and knocked out world No. 3 Jorgensen, who had beaten Lin Dan in the quarter-finals. Hu Yun is on fire and looking very confident,” added Seu Bock.
Chong Wei will be gunning for his fourth Superseries title this season, having won the Malaysian Open, All-England and Indian Open.