PETALING JAYA: Experience matters.
And world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei (pic) showed just that when he battled his way past 22-year-old Wang Tzu-wei of Taiwan to reach the All-England quarter-finals.
The 34-year-old Chong Wei took 39 minutes to tame Tzu-wei 21-18, 21-18 in the men’s singles second round at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham yesterday.
Three-time All-England champion Chong Wei will take on Tian Houwei of China today.
National coach Tey Seu Bock, while happy to see Chong Wei progress, was quick to give credit to the Macau Open champion Tzu-wei.
World No. 21 Tzu-wei entered the tournament on a high after upstaging Olympic champion Chen Long of China en route to reaching the final of the second-tier German Open last week.
“It was a tough match for Chong Wei. They have not met before and Chong Wei was uncomfortable with the way his opponent played today,” said Seu Bock.
“Tzu-wei played confidently and even led at the start of the second game. Fortunately, Chong Wei was experienced enough to escape from difficult situations.”
On Chong Wei’s knee condition, Seu Bock said: “He is managing well … I don’t think the knee injury is a problem now.”
Chong Wei underwent a three-week intensive rehabilitation programme for his knee injury and just managed to recover in time for his 13th – and probably last – All-England trip.
“His next opponent, Houwei, will not be easy either. Hopefully, Chong Wei will play with more confidence and regain his rhythm,” said Seu Bock.
Chong Wei and the 25-year-old Houwei have a 1-1 head-to-head record. Chong Wei beat him in the 2015 Hong Kong Open while the 25-year-old Houwei triumphed at the 2013 Australian Open.
Three-time Olympic silver medallist Chong Wei is the only Malaysian men’s singles shuttler left in the tournament after the exit of Zulfadli Zulkiffli on Wednesday.
Zulfadli lost 11-21, 12-21 to five-time world champion Lin Dan of China on Wednesday.
Lin Dan should beat compatriot Huang Yuxiang next to make it to the quarter-finals.
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/sport/badminton/2017/03/10/experience-counts-veteran-chong-wei-beats-younger-tzuwei-to-reach-qfinals/#OFkwYeSFMOXktASd.99