Lee Zii Jia should fancy his chances to reach the men's singles final of the BWF World Tour Finals after being drawn against Thailand’s Kunvalut Vitidsarn for Saturday's semi-finals.
In the men’s doubles, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are up against Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi, while Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are due to face Thailand’s serial winners Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Lee had earlier on Friday finished his men’s singles Group B fixtures with a perfect record after seeing off India’s K.Srikanth 21-19, 21-14 to notch three wins in consecutive matches in Bali.
The second seed lived up to his billing as favourite to finish as group champion, after beating Kunvalut, Toma Popov Junior and now Srikanth in straight games.
His much improved performance was a far cry from the previous few weeks, where he had to retire from the Hylo Open final and Indonesia Masters due to a hip injury, before he lost in the opening round of the Indonesia Open last week.
Men’s singles chief Hendrawan said he foresaw another meeting against Kunvalut.
“What’s certain is that Lee won’t be meeting Viktor [Axelsen]. I don’t think we need to read too much into Lee’s performance before this as every player has their ups and downs, especially with back-to-back tournaments like this.
“Lee is looking fresh for this tournament compared to the last few weeks, and he will do his best for tomorrow’s game,” he said.
In the women’s doubles, Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah’s campaign came to an end after they were beaten in straight games by Tokyo Olympics champions Greysia Polli-Apriyani Rahayu 18-21, 11-21.
Tan-Thinaah had shocked the tournament’s top seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajonglai on Thursday, and looked to give the Indonesians a similarly torrid time as they bossed the first half of the opening game.
But the Polli-Rahayu soon grew into their stride and when they turned on the heat with their barrage of attacking shots, the Malaysians were forced to defend deep.
Despite doing well with their defending, Tan-Thinaah were unable to contain their opponents’ onslaught as they lost the first game 21-18.
Buoyed with the lead, Polli-Rahayu wore the Malaysians down in the second to book their semis berth.
Chan-Goh and Ong-Teo had also lost their final round matches, but still made the last four after winning their first two group encounters.