South Korea's Son Wan-Ho had been the new favourite for the tournament before losing to Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei ©Getty Images

Several of the higher seeds lost on day four of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Hong Kong Open, leaving original fifth seed Chen Long, of China, as the new favourite for the title.

Following the withdrawal of Denmark's top seed and world champion Viktor Axelsen from the tournament on Wednesday (November 23), the onus fell on second seed Son Wan-Ho to make his mark on this BWF World Superseries tournament at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

The South Korean, however, exited the tournament at the quarter final stage on day four of the tournament, losing 21-11 21-12 to Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who was 

The Malaysian,  top of the world rankings for 199 consecutive weeks from August 2008 until June 2012 and winner of the Olympic silver medal at Rio 2016, will certainly fancy his chances of going all the way in Hong Kong.

The favourite tag, though, now shifts to original fifth seed Chen Long, the Rio 2016 gold medallist and winner of the China Open earlier this month, after he dispatched South Korea's Lee Dong-keun inside 48 minutes.

There were no real shocks in the women’s draw with top seed Tai Tzu-ying once again asserting her dominance with a two-game victory over eighth seed Chen Yufei of China. 

The Taiwan player was pushed all the way in the second game, although eventually came out on top 23-21.

The final of the tournament, due to take place on Sunday (Novemer 26), is likely to see Tai meet second seed Pusarla Venkata Sindhu of India, who beat fifth seed Akane Yamaguchi from Japan.

Fifth seed Chen Long, of China, is now the favourite to win the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open ©Getty Images
Fifth seed Chen Long, of China, is now the favourite to win the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open ©Getty Images

Chinese pair Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan lived up to their first seed tag in the women’s doubles by beating Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara of Japan, despite losing the first game. 

They are due to face the eighth seeds in their semi-final, Thailand's Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.

Unseeded Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov from Russia, the pick from yesterday’s men’s doubles matches in which they beat the tournament’s seventh seeds, were unable to continue their good form.

They lost to the fourth seeds, China's Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen, who will now face tournament favourites Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia.

All but one of the mixed doubles matches were completed within two games.

The exception was the contest between China's Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong and Germany's Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich.

The match was declared a walkover as Herttrich had to fly back to Europe for the funeral of Dutch badminton player Erik Meijs, who recently died in an accident.

Sports director of the German Badminton Association, Martin Kranitz, said: "Sometimes there are more important things than sport."