Wei sets up dream clash with Dane Gade

Wei sets up dream clash with Dane Gade

Porntip to take on Korean Bae in womens final

World number one Lee Chong Wei makes a sensational return during his victory over Yun Hu of Hong Kong in the semifinal of the India Open Super Series. AP

Chong Wei, the top seed from Malaysia, sailed through in 27 minutes with Yun Hu hardly putting up any resistance. Gade, too, carved out an impressive 21-15, 21-19, victory over South Korea’s Sung Hwan Park in the other semifinal.

The women’s final will be between Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk and South Korean Youn Joo Bae. Buranaprasertsuk defeated fourth-seed Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong 21-13, 21-8 while third seed Bae scored a thrilling 23-21, 15-21, 21-12 victory over Japanese Sayaka Sato in an hour-long duel.

There were spells of brilliance as Chong Wei and Gade exhibited their craft and toyed with their opponents.

Chong Wei, playing the longest rally of the match in the first game, showed superb reflexes when he retrieved the shuttle that had all but touched the ground and then did a Roger Federer, running behind to hit the shuttle between his legs.

Though he lost the rally, it thrilled a sizable number of spectators who turned up at the Siri Fort Stadium despite the Indians’ campaign ending Friday.

Chong Wei at 6-5 reeled off seven points to jump ahead. He then left his opponent way behind as he raced from 14-9 to easily take the first game.Hu committed all manner of errors in the second game and surprisingly even Chong Wei struggled to keep the shuttle in  the court.

The Malaysian, however, had established a cushion early in the game and had little difficulty in subduing Hu.

Chong Wei, who is 11-1 head-to-head against Gade, said he was all up to become the first champion of India Open. Gade’s only victory against Chong Wei came at the Korea open Super Series final in 2009.

“It is the first Super Series in India and I would like to win it. He (Gade) is an experienced player and it is always tough to play against him,” he said.

Third-seeded Gade, who had to save three match points in the opening match against Japanese Kazushi Yamada, was in sublime touch against Park. Danish shuttler was in control for most of the 45 minutes of the clash and was backed by vociferous fans.
Gade dictated terms, pushing Park to the flanks, and finished the points with finesse. Park tried in vain to get a foothold as the Dane went into an early lead.

Showing supple hands at the net, Gade built on his lead and notched up five points from 13-11 and eventually pocketed the game with a brilliant drop shot from the back court.
Park, who defeated second-seeded Indonesian Taufiq Hidayat in the quarterfinals Friday, came back strongly in the second game when he took a 12-6 lead.

But Gade nosed ahead by taking six points on a clip and the pressure was back on the young Korean. Gade held on to the lead to close out the match.