All England: Lin Dan bursts into the semis
Posted on: 05:13 PM IST Mar 10, 2012
Birmingham: Lin Dan blasted his way past old rival Taufik Hidayat 21-18, 21-8 on Friday to earn a place in the semi-finals of the All England badminton championships.
The Chinese is the world and Olympic champion, titles held by Hidayat at his peak in the mid-2000s, but time has marched on and the Indonesian has not beaten Lin in seven years. Friday's defeat took their head-to-head record to 10-3 in favour of the Chinese. although for a time an upset looked possible with both men going toe to toe in the first game.
Once Lin took the opener, he quickly went 9-0 up in the second with a series of powerful cross-court smashes that left his opponent reeling.
Reminded of his long wait for a win against his Chinese rival, Hidayat said: "Yes, it was in 2005, when I was 25. Now I am 31, almost 32. It's sport. You have the generations".
Lin's main rival, title holder and world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, breezed past unseeded Indonesian Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka 21-9, 21-11 in 27 minutes. He now faces experienced South Korean Lee Hyun-il who enjoyed a comfortable 21-15, 21-13 triumph over unseeded Malaysian Daren Liew.
Lin's semi-final opponent in his quest for a fifth All England crown is seventh-seeded Japanese Kenichi Tago who upset number three seed Chen Long of China 22-24, 21-12, 21-14.
In an enthralling women's singles encounter, top seed and world champion Wang Yihan of China survived four match points to edge out battling Tine Baun of Denmark 19-21, 25-23, 21-9.
"There's always a loser and a winner and I was just trying to show what I was capable of," said Wang.