Top seeds crash out of World Badminton Championships

Top seeds Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Zhou Mi of Hong Kong crashed out of the World Badminton Championship after contrasting defeats in quarters.

updated: August 15, 2009 07:07 IST
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On a day of upsets, top seeds Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Zhou Mi of Hong Kong crashed out of the World Badminton Championship after contrasting defeats in men's and women's singles quarterfinals here on Friday.

World number one Lee failed to live up to expectations as he was sent packing by sixth seeded Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro 16-21 21-14 12-21 in a hard-fought match which turned out to be biggest upset of the tournament so far.

"I just couldn't play well today. I had pulled things back in the second game but I don't know what happened in the third game," Lee said.

"Sony is no ordinary player, he has beaten me before and he raised the bar today. I wasn't under any pressure nor I had any problem with the conditions," he added. Sony, on the other hand, said he was not afraid of attacking whenever he got a chance, which paid dividends at the end.

"I have beaten this guy before and I was not worried before the match. In the first game, my strategy was to attack. I knew that if I slowed down the game, he would beat me. I played smart and whenever I got a chance I attacked. "In the second game, I was a bit mentally down," he said.

In the women's singles, fifth seed Chinese Xingfang Xie sent world number one Zhou Mi of Hong Kong packing with a straight-game victory.

Xingfang, who won the World Championships in 2005 and 2006 besides a silver medal in Beijing Olympics, outplayed the her top seed opponent 21-15, 21-18 in a 47-minute match.

"It was a very close match even though the scoreline might suggest otherwise. I was more patient then Zhou especially in the second game. When we both were 18-all, I held my nerves and didn't commit any mistake," said Xingfang after the match.

The 2003 World Championship semifinalist, Zhou Mi had retired from badminton in 2005. She did not play any tournaments in 2006 and moved to Hong Kong from China before re-emerging during in 2007.

Xingfang next faces eighth seed Hongyan Pi of France in the semifinals tomorrow.

Hongyan reached the first semifinal of her career in a world championship today after she beat Juliane Schenk 15-21, 21-15, 21-19 in another quarterfinal.

Asked what strategy she would take against Hongyan, Xingfang said she would try to test her patience.

"I have played against her (Hongyan) many times and have beaten her twice. She is a kind of player who believes in longer game. So I am planning to test her patience tomorrow by involving in more rallies," she said.

In men's singles, temperamental Indonesian Taufik Hidayat advanced to the semifinals with a 21-19, 21-19 victory over Jon O Jorgensen of Denmark in a match marred by a controversial line call.

Leading at 20-19 in the second game, Taufik smashed a Jorgensen regulation stroke which according to the Dane had landed outside but the line umpire ruled otherwise.

"I saw the shuttle drop outside but the line umpire felt it was inside. I spoke to the chair umpire after the match. I guess, this is something which I can't help. If I would have got the point, may be things could have been different," Jorgensen said.

"It is a better sweat feeling for me because I know I had my chances but I tried my best. He is more experienced and played some great shots. I managed to give him a good fight but surely he was the better one," he added.

The two players, however, didn't make any fuss out of it and embraced each other smiling at the confusion and showing tremendous sportsmanship.

Asked about the incident, Taufik said, "Well, I said sorry to him because it wasn't in my hand. If the umpire says it's outside I am ready to play but since he judged it was inside, I win."