Lee, Zhou fail to live up to top billing

Lee, Zhou fail to live up to top billing

Sony, Xie pull off upsets of the tourney on dramatic day

Xie Xingfang... Huge upset

Up against world number six Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Thailand, Wei battled hard before going down 16-21, 21-14, 12-21 in the quarterfinals. Zhou, troubled by a back problem, lost to Chinese title contender Xie Xingfang 21-15, 21-18.

Sony, a finalist in last year’s meet at Kuala Lumpur, said his strategy was to attack his fancied rival. “I had to keep attacking him, because if I had slowed down, Wei would have gone on the offensive,” said Sony, who will meet Chinese world number five Lin Dan in Saturday’s semifinals.

Lin, in sight of a record third successive World title, overcame a fighting Peter Gade to enter the last four. The Danish world number three gave a good account of himself in his 20-22, 16-21 loss. 

Fourth-seeded Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia was also involved in a tough match before qualifying for the semifinals with a 21-19, 21-19 win over Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen.

“It was a hard match,” admitted Taufik, who trailed 16-19 in the opening game. “You have to keep your cool in such situations. That's the secret. I have been in such situations before. I am lucky that I am in the bottom half of the draw which is not as tough as the top half.”

Men’s second seed Jin Chen of China ended Indonesian Simon Santoso’s stay with a facile 21-10, 21-13 victory to set up a semifinal clash with Hidayat.

Pi Hongyan of France and Chinese Lu Lan took contrasting routes to the semifinals. The eighth-seeded Frenchwoman rallied to overcome 11th-seeded German Juliane Schenk 15-21, 21-15, 21-19, while the Chinese outplayed a rusty Tine Rasmussen of Denmark 21-15, 21-13.

“I didn't expect to win here and my performance was far below top level,” said the third-seeded Rasmussen, playing her first tournament in five months due to an ankle injury.

“In fact, I should not have been here because I haven't fully recovered. I started playing matches only a week ago. I had beaten her in the all-England Super Series final last year, but today I, was nowhere near my best."

Hongyan has a tough match on hand as she faces formidable Xingfang for a place in the title round.