KUALA LUMPUR – China’s badminton ace Lin Dan is only a step away from his first Malaysia Open title after booking a slot in the Malaysia Open Super Series Premier Badminton Championship final.
In the semi-final match at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, here Saturday, Lin Dan was initially given a tough challenge by Denmark’s star, Jan O Jorgensen, before winning in rubber sets 14-21, 21-19 and 21-17 in an hour and 19 minutes.
Despite feeling unhappy with the umpire, the Olympic gold medallist showed that he was good enough to mount a serious challenge for the title, albeit in the absence of his arch-rival and nemesis Malaysia’s Datuk Lee Chong Wei.
“The judges kept interrupting the game and I was totally in no mood to play in the first game.
“I was facing problems in first set, so that made me work harder in the second set. Jorgensen also played a good game,” he said, adding that he was quite highly-spirited with the Malaysian fans giving their supports to him and Jorgensen.
Although he had won the Olympic gold medal, Thomas Cup and World Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Lin Dan had yet to be able to claim the Malaysia Open title.
Yesterday’s victory led him to face world’s number one Chen Long in the final today, which will begin at 1 pm.
Meanwhile, Jorgensen, who was really disappointed with the defeat yesterday, said he had erred when he failed to add variations to his game after brilliantly winning the first set.
“I’m quite happy with the first set, but I started making too many mistakes in the second set. I kept playing the same game all the time and it was easy for Lin Dan to find his rhythm back…I really blew my chance away,” he added.
In another semi final match earlier today, the world’s number one Chen Long easily defeated his compatriot Wang Zhengming 21-18 and 21-16 in 36 minutes.
The 2014 Copenhagen world champion was very calm and relaxed in defeating the world’s number ten to march into finals for his maiden Malaysia Open title.
“I will give my best for tomorrow’s final,” he said, adding that Lin Dan surely had an advantage despite being a 32 years old.
Chen Long noted that in that age, Lin Dan was very healthy and capable of playing against anybody.
“That’s what’s important for a player to win the game,” he said.