It has been a while since we see two of the greatest badminton players in the world, Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan outwitt each other on court. How we truly miss that! Even after a decade at the top, these two still remain unchallenged and there’s no sign of new star ready to take over in the near future. I’m tipping Japan’s Kento Mamota to be the next Lin Dan but realising his pontential will not be an easy task for the Japanese lad.
After a long lay-off, Lin Dan is back and he shows no rustiness to his game by winning two tournaments prior to Japan Open. But he didn’t face Chong Wei on those two tournaments and neither did they play against each other in the Thomas Cup. So their first meeting of 2014 is set to take place at Japan Open as both had little problem disposing their opponent in the quarter-final. Or so we thought!
Lin Dan Crashed Out, Lee Chong Wei Through To The Semis
While Chong Wei was lucky to scrape through by beating Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 21-15, 12-21, 21-17 in a 62-minute, it was bad news for China’s five-time world champion Lin Dan and 2013 All-England champion Chen Long. Lin Dan went down 19-21, 21-13, 16-21 to a spirited Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark and China’s misery continued when Chen Long was defeated 18-21, 21-19, 15-21 by Hong Kong’s Hu Yun. After poor showing in the Thomas Cup 2014, Chinese single players are having trouble to rekindle the form that made them a power house in world badminton. Good news for others nonetheless.
Lee Chong Wei vs Kenichi Tago
Lee Chong Wei will face Japan’s No. 1, Kenichi Tago in the semi-final today and although Chong Wei’s record against Tago was impressive with 16-1 against the Japanese, this won’t be an easy match for the World No. 1. The Japanese has improved tremendously over the years and playing in front of the home crowd. Chong Wei is also still struggling playing in Japan according to his coach, Tey Seu Bock. “He is finding it a challenge to adapt to the slow shuttle and that irritates him. He tends to lose focus easily. Fortunately against Tommy, he kept on fighting” said Seu Bock.
The other Malaysians – Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong – failed to clear the last eight in the men’s doubles. They went down 16-21, 19-21 to reigning world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
– Japan Open 2014 Semi-Final – Lee Chong Wei vs Kenichi Tago