Chen's withdrawal opens path for legendary Lee

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Chens withdrawal opens path for legendary Lee
Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia plays a shot against NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong at the Hamdan Sports Complex court.

Dubai - The former world number one got off to a flying start in Group A on Wednesday

By Rituraj Borkakoty

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Published: Wed 13 Dec 2017, 9:47 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Dec 2017, 11:55 PM

Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei, a four-time World Superseries Finals winner, has never won the event in Dubai.
Now that Dubai is staging the season-ending championship, Lee will be hoping to leave this city with the coveted trophy in his hands. The former world number one got off to a flying start in Group A on Wednesday, dismantling rising Hong Kong star NG Ka Long Angus 21-14, 21-13 in just 40 minutes.
Lee overcame some early jitters in the first set to look in complete control of his game. In the second set, he showed the kind of form that helped him clinch the Hong Kong Open Superseries title last month.
"I just enjoyed my game today. I am happy to have finished the match in straight sets," Lee told Khaleej Times in the Mixed Zone after winning what was a pretty straightforward game.
Now the former world number one looks set to book his place in the semifinals as Rio Olympics champion Chen Long pulled out of the Dubai event due to a knee injury.
"I just try to enjoy every match that I play. I am not thinking too much about the next stages. I just hope to give my best in the next group match," the 35-year-old Lee said.
Lee's next opponent will be South Korean Son Wan Ho, the world No. 5 who won a bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships in Glasgow. "I will have a rest tomorrow. So my next game is on Friday. I will play Son Wan Ho. I would love to top the group, but I will be fine even with a second-place finish in the group," Lee said.
Lee won his four World Super Series titles in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013 but none of his victories came in Dubai which started staging the event from 2014. He missed the inaugural edition in Dubai because of a doping ban and failed to qualify for the season-ending tournament here next year.
Lee did earn his spot in last year's championships, but couldn't get out of the group stage. Now with Chen Long withdrawing from the event, this could finally be Lee's year in Dubai. "I hope to play a very good tournament here in Dubai. All the Malaysian fans in Dubai will hopefully enjoy my game," Lee signed off.

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