World No.1 Dan leads Chinese trio in semi-finals

March 8th, 2008 - 3:12 pm ICT by admin  

(All-England badminton Roundup)
Birmingham, March 8 (Xinhua) World No.1 Lin Dan sailed to a 21-17, 21-11 win over Kenneth Jonassen of Denmark while his fellow Chinese Bao Chunlai and Chen Jin also booked semi-final berths at the All England Badminton Championships here. Third-seeded Bao set up a meeting with Lin after beating another Dane Joachim Persson 21-11, 21-13 while Chen clinched a quick 21-14, 21-12 win against Indonesian veteran Sony Dwi Kuncoro Friday.

Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei became the only non-Chinese semi-finalist after he survived an early scare to outperform Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat in an eagerly awaited quarter-final. The Malaysian Open winner lived up to his reputation as world No.2 as he overcame four game points from 20-17 down before wrapping up a 23-21, 21-17 victory.

“To win the first game was the key to my victory. I thought I might lose the match when I was trailing 17-20. But after that, I felt more confident,” said Lee.

“Taufik was not at his peak. I was not playing my best game either, making a lot of simple mistakes. But yes, he made even more mistakes.”

He will next clash with Chen for a final berth while Lin is to play a Chinese derby against Bao in the other semi-final.

“It’s not that easy as the score indicates,” Lin said of the Jonassen match.

“He’s a difficult player to deal with. I could have lost if I had relaxed even a little bit.”

Lin said that the new scoring system according to which shuttlers score with every shot instead of scoring only off their own service makes the competition more open to everyone.

“Even the best players have to be very careful. It’s very likely now that a top five player crashes out of the first round, which was exactly the situation at the All England but had been rarely seen before.”

In contrast to their men compatriots’ dominance, once powerful Chinese women only have third-seeded Lu Lan in the last four as China’s four other elite shuttlers, including top two seeds Xie Xingfang and Zhang Ning, had bowed out after the first two rounds.

Lu, 20, upset veteran Wang Chen of Chinese Hong Kong 21-18, 21-13 to keep the Chinese title hope alive. She will next play against Chinese-born Xu Huaiwen of Germany, who defeated Japan’s Yu Hirayama 21-17, 21-17.

Tine Rasmussen made up for Danish reverses in the men’s tournament with a 20-22, 21-18, 21-18 win over Chinese-born Frenchwoman Pi Hongyan.

In the semi-finals, the Dane plays South Korea’s unseeded Hwang Hye-youn who stunned eighth-seeded Malaysian Wong Mew Choo 17-21, 21-10, 21-13.

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