Taufik beats Chinese rising star to meet Lee Chong Wei in Hong Kong Open final

15:16, December 12, 2010      

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Indonesian veteran Taufik Hidayat edged out China's rising star Chen Long in the Hong Kong Badminton Open semifinals here on Saturday, setting up a clash with World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei for the men's title of the year's last stage of Super Series.

Hidayat, 29, held back a big challenge from the 21-year-old Chen in a 69-minute close match. The 3rd seed of the event lost the openning set 21-15 before he was pushed to win back the second by 21-11. Despite trailing 11-6 in the final set, the long-time star managed to catch up and seal the victory 21-19, taking advantage of two fatal mistakes by Chen.

"It was a tough match," said Hidayat. "Thank god I can win today."

Talking about his opponent Chen, who just won his first Super Series title in the China Open last week, Hidayat said he was "a good player and young".

"I must take care of him in the future. He will get stronger," he added.

Due to the resignment of China's "grand slam" winner Lin Dan, the expected Asian Games final rematch didn't show up. Instead, Malaysia's world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei beat Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh 21-14, 21-17 in the semifinal, marchcing closer to retain his title.

The last time Lee and Hidayat met was in the quarterfinal of the World Championships in Paris, where Hidayat won in three sets.

Referring to the upcoming match, the Indonesian conceded that Lee is the favorite.

"I'll just try. He is a good player, now on top," he said. "As Lin Dan is not coming, Chong Wei is the top one."

He also confirmed that both of them were joining a Chinese badminton club based in Guangzhou, but the competition schedule hasn't decided yet.

Unlike Lee Chong Wei, the men's doubles reigning champion Jung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae from South Korea were blocked out of the final, losing to Indonesia's Olympic Champion Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan in straight sets, 21-19, 23-21. However, the South Korean duo has won the last two tournaments of China Open Super Series and South Korea Open Grand Prix in the past two weeks.

Kido/Hendra will face another South Korean pair, 6th seed Ko Sung Hyun/Yoo Yeon Seong in the final.

In the women's singles, the Asian Games Champion Wang Shixian, 20, repeated her victory over Wang Xin, 25, in straight sets after the Asiad final and China Open semifinal while India's Saina Nehwal, 2nd seed, walked over Germany's Juliane Schenk in three sets to book another final berth.

World top women's double Cheng Wen-hsing/Chien Yu-chin from Chinese Taipei came from one-set behind to beat Russia's 3rd seed Valeria Sorokina/Nina Vislova, Russia, 18-21, 21-12, 21-13. In another all-China clash, Olympic Champion Yu Yang partnered with Wang Xiaoli to ease past Pan Pan and Tian Qing 21-9, 21-8.

Earlier, Yu Yang and her new male partner Xu Chen failed to make the mixed doubles final, losing to Denmark's Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen in a close match 16-21, 21-18, 21-19.

The Danish duo will vie for the title with another new Chinese pair, the Asian Games runners-up Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei.

Source: Xinhua
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