Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei had to dig deep into his arsenal to produce some fabulous strokes to win the Men’s Singles Quarter-final battle against Japan’s Kenichi Tago at the 2011 Japan Open Super Series, in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, September 23.
Chong Wei, the reigning World Number One, worked extra hard to beat World Number 19, Tago in a thrilling rubber-set fight. The top seed lost the opening set but came back with a different strategy and won the following two sets to register his win over Tago.
Right from the start of the first game, both shuttlers executed powerful smashes and perfect drives in all areas of the court. The score progressed closely and reached at 21-21, when the spirited Japanese played a wonderful game and won the opening set by a 23-21 margin in 22 minutes.
In the second game, Tago played many negative strokes at the net and from the rear court area. Wei was very smooth in his movement which enabled him to take the bird early. He rushed towards 11-3 until the interval in the first set.
The top seed continued his roller coaster run in the second-half of the game and finished it without any problem with a stunning 21-7 margin, by taking just 13 minutes.
In the final game, the Malaysian controlled the game from the start and reached at 11-4 until the interval. The Japanese crowd applauded for Tago at every point he won.
The top seed was leading with an 18-14 margin when the Japanese put more thrill in the match by scoring four consecutive points and reaching the crucial stage of 18-20. However, Chong Wei got an opportunity and executed three consecutive smashes to secure the final point and also the game, with a 21-18 margin in 21 minutes. The result of this fabulous 56- minute quarter-final fight was 21-23, 21-7 and 21-18.
In the Men’s Singles semi-final match, Chong Wei will face the winner of the encounter between Denmark’s Peter Hoeg Gade and Indonesia’s Simon Santoso.