Chen Long ousts Lin Dan to reach All England badminton final  
 
Published on 07/03/2015     Source : AFP

World champion Chen Long scored one of the most notable wins of his career when he beat Olympic champion Lin Dan to reach the final of the All-England Open in his bid to win the title back.

The top-seeded Chen's 21-13, 21-12 win over the fifth-seeded Lin was remarkable, both because it was the first time on the tour that he had beaten the man who is regarded by many as the greatest player of all time, and also because of the relative ease of the success.

Once Lin had lost the lead at 12-13 in the first game he never looked like regaining it. He moved the shuttle round fluently without ever really threatening in attack, and as the match wore on made some strange mistakes.

 

After spending large phases away from the tour during the last two years perhaps all this was not entirely surprising, but the 31-year-old did leave the impression that there is much to do if he is to win a gold medal for a third time at an Olympics next year in Rio. Lin also produced an oddly bland explanation of so comprehensive a defeat.

"It's always hard to play against a teammate," he said. "It's not so easy against a teammate to shout or show your fist.

"If I play this sort of game it is easy to lose to someone like Chen Long," he added. "He is so consistent, especially if you don't speed the game up."

Lin also appeared to criticise the officiating, and absence of a video review system on his court, which altogether may have affected two or three line decisions.

Because Lin Dan's match, curiously, was not required for television, it was not placed on court one and therefore did not have the video review system used for broadcasting.

"Maybe if the umpire's judgements were better it would have helped, and it was a pity not to have the video review," he said.

"But I am not unhappy to be in the semi-finals here after two years away. I have got more ranking points and I hope to improve."

Chen's performance was by contrast more offensive than it sometimes is. He often rallied patiently with his great opponent, but rarely depended on the mid-court containment and counter-attacks which frequently serve him well.

"I wanted to play a really attacking game today, but I had to arrange my tactics more to my strengths. You can't play just defence if you want to beat Lin Dan," he said.

Chen was clearly pleased with how he did this, but avoided any hints of triumphalism.

"To play a great player like him is a learning experience, which should help me a lot for the future."

The immediate future brings a final against Jan Jorgensen, who very effectively disposed of Sho Sasaki, the Japanese seed-beater, by 21-11, 21-12, and now has a chance of becoming the first European to win the All-England men's singles title since fellow Dane Peter Gade in 1999.

Jorgensen is already the first European men's singles finalist in 11 years.

Earlier Saina Nehwal, the world number three from India, reached the final of the women's singles for the first time in seven appearances.

Nehwal, the first woman from her country to win a Super Series title, and the first Indian to win an Olympic medal in badminton, now overcame the surprise survivor from China, Sun Yu, 21-12, 21-13, to earn herself a famous day at the legendary century-old tournament.

She now has a chance of becoming the first Indian woman to win the All-England women's singles title, and the first Indian to win any All-England singles title since her coach Pullela Gopichand won the men's singles 14 years ago.

Her opponent will be the Carolina Marin, the world champion from Spain, who won 21-18, 21-11 against Tai Tzu Ying, the seventh-seeded Taiwanese.

 

 
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