World number one Chen Long will take on Malaysian ace Lee Chong Wei in the final of the Asia Championships on Sunday.
The reigning world champion booked his place in the final after beating Chinese compatriot Tian Houwei 21-14, 21-16, while Chong Wei got one over long-time rival Lin Dan, beating the Olympic champion 22-20, 15-21, 21-4.
Fifth seed Houwei offered little resistance to the world’s best player’s all-round skill in the first game, but the second stanza proved to be a much closer affair.
The former world junior champion raced to a 12-6 lead in the second game, but was unable to maintain his composure in the pressure situation that followed, and after Chen leveled matters at 16-all, there was always only going to be one winner.
Chong Wei’s match against Dan was a classic, as many of the matches between these two rivals have been over the last decade.
The Chinese star made the better start of the two and was soon 10-4 ahead in the first game. The twice Olympic runner-up slowly got back into the game and with Dan leading 20-17, he won the next five points to take the opening set.
The second game followed much the same pattern, with Dan setting the pace early on. However, instead of letting his advantage slip like he did in the opener, he maintained a comfortable lead throughout to force the match into a decider.
The third game ended up being something of a procession, with Chong Wei dominating his arch-rival throughout with a fine display of badminton.