Semifinals Day: Can Kenichi Tago Get Revenge Against Lee Chong Wei
- 13 June 2014
Last year, upon making it to his first Yonex Open Japan final, Kenichi Tago shed tears of joy. However, with world No.1 Lee Chong Wei as his opponent, he was defeated 21-23 17-21, and thoroughly crushed. Furthermore, with a record of 1 win and 16 losses, the odds aren’t looking very good for Kenichi. “To be frank, I can’t say I can win against Lee Chong Wei,” commented Kenichi. That said, he’s not giving up. In fact, this year, he’s especially motivated. “Within our 17 matches, I’ve won once. I’ll play in this next match with eyes fully fixed on the prize,” mentioned Kenichi further. It’s clear that Chong Wei has the mental advantage, crushing Kenichi at the Thomas Cup with 21-12 21-16. His quick, world-class smashes still manage to deliver even now.
Will Kenichi be able to slow Chong Wei down with his soft racket-work? Japanese fans are looking to Kenichi with hopes as high as ever for a victory. Could this finally be Japan’s year?
Comment from Kenichi
“Playing with Lee Chong Wei several times in the past, we both have good ideas of each others’ style. There’s no doubt it will be an especially harsh match, but the question is how I can handle it. All I want to focus on right now is preparation.”
On one side, the rock-solid German pair of Michael Fuchs/Birgi Michels has made it through Yonex Open Japan proving their firm desire for victory. On the other side is the two-year-strong Hong Kong China pair of Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah, who excelled in April’s Asian Championship. In the words of Chun Hei, “European players are strong, with firm physiques,” the German pair is all about their attacks. However, defense happens to be Chun Hei/Hoi Wah’s specialty, with their defense working as their offence. Time will tell if whether oppressive offence or determined defense will win.
Tournament Result: Quarterfinals
Hu Yun (NR750)(HKG) def. Chen Long (CHN) 18-21 21-19 21-15
Michael Fuchs (VT80)/Birgit Michels (NR700FX)(GER) def. Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na (KOR) 21-12 22-20