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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Malaysian Open Semifinals Predictions

Closing in on the finals, China will be eager to avoid an embarrassment.

Lee Yong Dae/Lee Hyo Jung vs. Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms
After their remarkable upset against second seeds Nova Widianto/Lilyana Natsir yesterday, the Koreans will be going into this semifinal match bursting with confidence. However, ex world number 1s and ex world champions Nathan and Gail are no pushover. Based on current form, I would say that the Koreans will win this close encounter and proceed to the finals. Interesting to see Lee Yong Dae taking after Ha Tae Kwon's footsteps.

Zhu Lin vs. Wong Mew Choo
One of the more interesting matches of the day. The last time they met, Wong Mew Choo beat Zhu Lin in 3 sets. However, Zhu Lin broke Malaysia's hearts when she beat Wong at the finals of the Malaysian Open and the Quarterfinals of the World Championships. I think Wong would prevail in another tight encounter, as she has shown marked improvement. Furthermore, Zhu Lin has proved to be extremely inconsistent in her game. Wong in 3 sets.

Lee Chong Wei vs. Chen Yu
Lee seems to have a jinx against this Chinese player. Although Lee's world ranking is far above Chen Yu's, Lee last beat Chen Yu 4 years ago. However, I believe after yesterday's demolishing of Simon Santoso, Lee Chong Wei will have the sufficient confidence to beat the only Chinese left in the draw.

Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen vs. Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng
Paaske and Rasmussen beat last hopes Choong and Lee yesterday, and now meet ex world champions Cai and Fu. This will be the meeting between ex world champions, and ultimately, it will be hard to determine who will win. Cai and Fu had a easy Quarterfinals against rusty Malaysians Chew and Chan, and should be well rested to prevent an embarrassment to the Chinese Badminton Team.

Candra Wijaya/Tony Gunawan vs. Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan
A rematch of the finals of the Hong Kong Open, in which Markis and Hendra exhibited extraordinary power and speed to outplay Candra and Tony. This time, I think it will be no different, and Markis and Hendra will be on their way to winning their first Malaysian Open title, by defeating Cai and Fu or Lars and Jonas in the finals.

All the best to all players.

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