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Veteran Gade sets up Hidayat badminton clash

AFP - Peter Gade, who still clings to the dream that at the age 33 he can win another All-England title, reached the men's singles quarter-final for the seventh time on Thursday.

Gade's hard-fought 24-22, 21-18 win over Simon Santoso earned him a meeting with an even better known Indonesian, Taufik Hidayat - the man he beat in the All-England final of 11 years ago.

"It was the final in `99, so it's a big game but if I can win that," the fifth-seeded Dane said.

But there were phases of the match when he had to dig deep.

Santoso played creatively as well as patiently in the slowish conditions and led 15-9 before Gade then began to move the shuttle around with more accuracy.

The former champion still had to save a game point at 20-19, but in the second game he played with increasing feel and confidence in the slightly drifty conditions.

"Of course it was a tighter game than I would have liked but that was exactly what I expected," Gade claimed.

"Simon is a very good player and on his best days he can play very well and that is what he did today so I had to play the best that I could."

Hidayat came through with a comfortable 21-18, 21-14 win over Andrew Smith, the Englishman who has occasionally been one of his sparring partners at the Kuala Lumpur Racket Club.

"My preparation was good and for me it was an easy game and I could control the game," the fourth-seeded former Olympic champion said.

"I will just relax and think about my strategy for the next game and hopefully play as well as I did today."

If he does, Gade, who lost in straight games in their meeting in last year's quarter-finals, may find it tough hard again.

Lin Dan, the titleholder and Olympic champion, also reached the quarter finals, winning 21-14, 21-18 against Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, the former All-England champion from Malaysia.

It meant that China finished the day with three players in the quarter-finals of the men's singles - all in the bottom half - and five in the women's, one of them representing Hong Kong.

Lee Chong Wei, who believes he can break the Chinese stranglehold on the All-England, skillfully negotiated a potential tripwire to become the first player into the quarter-finals.

The world number one from Malaysia came through 21-11, 21-17 against Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia, a dangerous former winner of Olympic bronze and world silver and medals who made an intriguing fight of the second game.

Lee's athletic and carefully crafted victory took him within two wins of another possible meeting in the final with Lin Dan, whose triumph last year helped China to capture all five titles for the first time.

Lee now plays Shon Wan Ho, a Korean qualifer, but despite that China seemed likely to occupy three of the four places in the bottom half, with Chen Jin, the 2008 champion, and Bao Chunlai, the former world silver medallist, reaching the quarter-finals in the early evening.

Chinese players occupy all four places in the top half of the quarter-final draw of the women's singles, although Zhou Mi, the former world number one, now represents Hong Kong.

Zhou now plays the top-seeded titleholder Wang Yihan, who had to cope with sturdy resistance from Yu Hirayama, a Japanese qualifier, before wining 21-16, 21-16.

The other two were Jian Yanjiao, the third seeded former Asian champion, and Wang Xin, the fifth-seeded Malaysian Super Series champion, with Lu Lan, the world champion, progressing to the same stage in the bottom half, after quelling a brave fightback from Scotland's Susan Egelstaff, who saved a match point in the second game of a 25-23, 20-22, 21-7 defeat.

Source from AFP

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