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Badminton: Lee Chong Wei dominates Axelsen to reach Malaysia Open semis

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei comfortably saw off Denmark's Viktor Axelsen to reach the semis
AFP

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – Malaysia badminton ace Lee Chong Wei dispatched Danish world number one Viktor Axelsen at the Malaysia Open on Friday, cruising into the tournament’s semifinals in Kuala Lumpur. 

Dominating his 24-year-old opponent in a 45-minute match, the 35-year-old smashed past Axelsen scoring 21-17, 21-9. 

With 11 Malaysia Open wins to his belt, Lee looks set to score another win on his home turf, a month after he thrashed the Dane at a group stage match at the Thomas Cup in Bangkok. 

Setting the tempo in the first game with his trademark tight netplay, Lee served several deep cross-court smashes that left his opponent reeling to win 21-17. 

Carrying on in the second game before a roaring crowd, the world number six overpowered Axelsen after the Dane made a number of errors, scoring 21-9 in just 21 minutes. 

“I came into this match with nothing to lose and did everything I could,” Lee told reporters after the win. 

“My badminton career is getting shorter, so I am just enjoying every game.” 

Lee said he wanted to play another two Malaysia Opens, adding that he would try for the 2020 Olympics “if all goes well”. 

Conceding defeat, Axelsen called Lee the “better player”. 

“I had a little trouble breathing, but that’s no excuse,” he said. 

The women’s singles saw Taiwan star and world number one Tai Tzu Ying see off Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei 21-15, 21-15 to make the semifinals. 

Tai will now go on to face India’s P.V. Sindhu, who overcame Spaniard Carolina Marin 22-20, 21-19. 

Selected Results 

Men’s Singles 

Lee Chong Wei (MASx7) bt Viktor Axelsen (DENx1) 21-17, 21-9 

Kento Momota (JPN) bt Chou Tien Chen (TPEx6) 21-19, 21-11 

Women’s Singles 

Tai Tzu Ying (TPEx1) bt Goh Jin Wei (MAS) 21-15, 21-15 

P.V.Sindhu (INDx3) bt Carolina Marin (ESPx6) 22-20, 21-19 

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