After a great performance at the recent China Open Super Series, Lin Dan is still looking strong as he heads into the semi-finals against Taufik Hidayat. It has been a long time since these two have played against each other in a big tournament, and at this stage of the event. Unfortunately for Lee Chong Wei fans the world number 1 did not play this tournament, and I’m not sure why, perhaps an injury, or an injured ego after losing to Lin Dan a couple weeks ago.
Surprisingly Peter Gade lost early on to the young Chinese player Gong Weijie who was then crushed by Chen Jin. Chen Jin will be playing Boonsak Ponsana in his semi-final. Another disappointment for the Danes was the early loss of Joachim Persson to India’s Arvind Bhat.
(I know I may have posted this video before, but I wanted to have something featuring Taufik and Lin Dan)
After a few months without seeing a Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei showdown tomorrow we will have one again. Both Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei won their semi-final matches in 3 games to book their finals spots. This is the first major tournament that Lin Dan has played in since the Olympics. In spite of the time I doubt it is long enough for Lee Chong Wei to forget his disappointing loss in Beijing. I wonder if he will be out to prove something to the badminton world.
Although Lin Dan did make the finals here he had a remarkably easy draw considering the talent that came to the event. Lee Chong Wei will be the first non-Chinese player that Lin Dan will play, and he almost lost to qualifier Wen Kai in the semis so don’t be surprised if Lin Dan is still not back too 100%. All the same it should be exciting to see what happens tomorrow!
(totally unrelated video of Lee Chong Wei doing dive training, WOW)
The qualifying at the second China Open Super Series of the year is now complete and the main event is about to start in Shanghai. Lin Dan is back in action and I’m sure he’s anxious to get back into action. He’s likely to be a bit rusty since he has been out of international competition for so long, but Lin Dan is probably the most impressive men’s singles player ever, so I’m sure he can find his form again very quickly. It is fair to say that Lin Dan is on the easier half of the draw with both Lee Chong Wei and Peter Gade on the other side, and in the same quarter-final for that matter. I can’t wait to see what happens!
Lee Tsuen Seng must be a big fan of New Zealand by now. He won back in 2006, I’m not sure about 2007, and now he has won again in 2008 at the KLRC New Zealand Open. Lee defeated his teammate Sairul Ayob Amar 24-22, 21-17 to take th title. I’m not surprised, Lee is a strong player. He has struggled to do much beyond the top 20 in the world rankings, but he is capable of the occasional upset. Now what I’m really looking forward to is next week’s China Open Super Series!
video of Lee Tsuen Seng at the 2007 US Open for those of you who don’t know who he is