Lee, 35 years old, beat the Danish player 21-17, 21-9, successfully repeating the victory at the Thomas Cup match in May.
While admitting that his supporters on home turf gave him some courage, Lee said he did not feel pressured when facing Axelsen. “I just consider myself to be an old player who has to go all out when playing the younger players,” he said.
He said as he is getting older, there are fewer and fewer matches for him to play, but there is still some “fire” within him. “Hopefully I can maintain a good condition and play two more Malaysian Open tournaments, and continue my career to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games,” he said.
Axelsen seemed to be in bad shape during the match. Continuously coughing during the post-match interview, Axelsen said he had no excuses though he had a little bit trouble breathing. “I simply lost to a better playing Lee Chong Wei today.”
In the semi-finals on Saturday, Lee will take on Tommy Sugiarto from Indonesia, who upset Chinese player Shi Yuqi. The other match will be between Kento Momota from Japan and Kidambi Srikanth of India.