Lin Dan gets the better of Taufik, Chong Wei also through to semis
Friday, January 28, 2011 – Badmintonphoto
A fit again Lin Dan continued his dominance of Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat to reach the semi-finals of the VICTOR Korea Open Superseries Premier on Friday, and perhaps a dream showdown with world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in Sunday’s final.
Lin Dan, who has three world titles and one Olympic title to his name, entered the tournament with doubts surrounding his fitness after he pulled out of the PROTON Malaysia Open Superseries quarter-finals citing an abdominal injury. It was the third time in three tournaments in a month that he has pulled out of a quarter-final. The other two times coming in China and Hong Kong.
But in cold, cold Seoul, the Chinese maestro, who is the reigning Olympic and Asian Games gold medallists, was on fire as he registered his seventh straight victory over his arch rival, who himself is a former world, Olympic and Asian games champion.
In fact, Lin Dan entered the match having not dropped a game to Taufik since losing to his opponent for the third and last time in 2005.
Lin Dan looked like continuing that amazing sequence when he won the first game 21-13 with but Taufik found an extra wind to finally take a game to level the match with a 21-8 win. In the decider, the Chinese hotshot dominated proceedings to close out the match 21-15 to reach the final four of the OSIM BWF World Superseries Premier tournament, which is offering US$1.2 million in prize money.
Waiting for Lin Dan in the semi-finals is Indonesia’s Simon Santoso, who followed up his semi-final appearance in Kuala Lumpur with semi-final ticket.
The SEA Games champion, who has just recovered from a back injury, booked his place in the final four when he former champion and third seed Pete Gade of Denmark in straight games, winning 21-17, 21-16.
Defending champion Lee Chong Wei is also through to the semi-finals after beating Chinese qualifier Wang Zhengming 21-14, 21-19. He will meet another Chinese youngster, Du Penyu, who defeated Japan’s Kenichi Tago 21-17, 21-11.
As such, the stage is set up a potentially explosive finale with Chong Wei and Lin Dan heavily favoured to win their respective semi-final matches.
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