PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei will take on Tian Houwei of China in the men’s singles quarter-finals at the All-England in Birmingham on Friday.
On Thursday, the 34-year-old Chong Wei battled his way to a 21-18, 21-18 win over Taiwan’s Wang Tzu-wei in a 39-minute second round match at the Barclaycard Arena.
Unlike Chong Wei, the 25-year-old Houwei had it rather easy when he defeated H.S. Prannoy of India 21-13, 21-5 in 33 minutes.
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.
National coach Tey Seu Bock was happy to see the steady progress by Chong Wei but gave credit to the Macau Open champion Tzu-wei.
The world No. 21 Tzu-wei entered the tournament on a high after upstaging Olympic champion Chen Long of China en route to the final of the second-tier German Open last week.
“It was one tough match for Chong Wei. They have not met before and Chong Wei was uncomfortable with the way his opponent played throughout the match,” said Seu Bock.
“Tzu-wei played confidently and even led Chong Wei at the start of the second game. Fortunately, our player was experienced enough to come out 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 picked up on Feb 4 and just managed to recover in time for his 13th – and probably last – All-England trip.