Chong Wei, Mew Choo get off to splendid starts
By Rajes Paul
PETALING JAYA: Lee Chong Wei and Wong Mew Choo erased some unpleasant memories when they got off to splendid starts in the Super Series Masters Finals at the Bandaraya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
Defending champion Chong Wei avoided another painful opening round defeat when he tamed Hsieh Yu-hsin of Taiwan 21-11, 21-12 in Group A yesterday. He will take on Taufik Hidayat today. The Indonesian went down fighting 18-21, 24-26 to Bao Chunlai of China yesterday.
Just about two weeks ago, world No. 1 Chong Wei suffered a major hiccup when he was sent packing by Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark
in the opening round of the China Open.
Coach Misbun Sidek said that it was important for Chong Wei to clear the first hurdle in the Masters Finals.
“This time, Chong Wei was dancing to the right tune. He played so well that his opponent was never in the game,” said Misbun.
“The match against Taufik will be exciting. If both of them play to their true form, we can expect them to showcase great stuff in badminton.
“Hopefully, Chong Wei can seal a place in the semi-finals by beating this great talent from Indonesia.”
For Mew Choo, it was a sweet revenge over Saina Nehwal of India in the same tournament.
The Malaysian, who only learnt on the eve of the Finals that she would come in as a replacement for China’s Lu Lan, fought gallantly to chalk up a 21-13, 13-21, 21-14 win over the Indonesian Open champion in Group A.
Just a year ago, Mew Choo failed to make the semi-finals after losing all three matches in the group, including against Saina.
Said Misbun: “She was a nervous wreck when she started playing today. She was thinking of the past and the defeat by Saina. But fortunately, she managed to come out of it. Mew Choo won on her better tactical approach.
“This is an important win for Mew Choo as it will give her a lot of confidence to jump start a revival in her career. Hopefully, she can keep it up.”
Mew Choo will play against Thailand’s world junior runner-up Porntip Buranaprasertsuk today.