Korea’s newly formed Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong outlasted third seeds Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa in the 19-21 21-19 21-11 opening match to Saturday’s semifinals.
Lee Yong Dae／Yoo Yeon Seong
Tontowi Ahmad／Liliyana Natsir
Endo and Hayakawa were shut out by the top ranked Lee and Ko Sung Hyun in the men’s doubles title match of the China Masters earlier this year. However, this time they appeared well-prepared, though now by Lee’s side became Yoo Yeon Seong. The Japanese overcame the nerves to open with a 7-4 lead and never looked back to seize the first game 21-19 after some intense exchanges.
Lee and Yoo stayed aggressive despite both breaking strings a few times and finally worn out the resistance of the number three seeds before clinching the match 19-21 21-19 21-11 in 82 minutes.
Teaming up at Odense in October, Lee and Yoo have never halted before quarterfinal stage in all four events they play, and have made both finals now at the Superseries Premier level. Endo and Hayakawa were the third seeded pair the Koreans have beaten en route to the finals after having dismissed top seeds Mohammad Ahsan／Hendra Setiawan and sixth seeds Kim Ki Jung／Kim Sa Rang.
Lee and Yoo won’t have to face a seeded team in the finals; however, what waits for them on Sunday could be potentially more difficult as it will be Malaysians Hoon Thien How／Tan Wee Kiong. Hoon and Tan surprised the Koreans in French Open quarterfinals handily by the score of 21-13 21-10 and it came as Lee／Yoo’s only defeat to date.
World champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir continued to steamroll as they needed only 26 minutes to routine Korea’s Kim Ki Jung and Kim So Young, 21-9 21-11. They will encounter Joachim Fischer Nielsen／Christinna Pedersen of Denmark in the mixed doubles finals, who were benefited with world no.1s Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei pulling out.
Women’s doubles will feature an all-Chinese final of Bao Yixin ／Zhong Qianxin versus defending champions Yu Yang／Wang Xiaoli. Defending champions in singles also prevailed through to the final showdown, as Chen Long and Li Xuerui both won their semis in straights.