Lin Dan knocked out of China Open by Jonatan Christie

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Looking forward to more actions from Lin Dan at next week’s Hong Kong Open. (photo: AP)
Looking forward to more actions from Lin Dan at next week’s Hong Kong Open. (photo: AP)

Fuzhou: Five-time World champion and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan was knocked out on home soil by Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in the first round of the Tahoe China Badminton Open at Haixia Olympic Sports Center in Fuzhou, China on Wednesday.

Lin Dan got off to a strong start in the first set by taking the quick lead before Jonatan played a solid game to surge ahead with 18-17. Lin was able to tie the score at 19-19 through his aggressive attacks, but two errors in succession saw him handed over the first set to Christie 19-21.

The Olympic champion had a sluggish start in the second set. He was trailed 3-11, 5-15 and Christie took full advantage of Lin Dan’s slow court speed to reach the match point with 20-9. However, Lin Dan busted out some classic ‘Lin Dan clutch moments’ on the verge of elimination to save 7 match points before going down 16-21 to the 20-year-old Indonesian in a 42 minutes encounter.

After the match, Lin Dan admitted he was not in mood to stop Christie.

“I took a break from competition action for almost a month, I was affected by the drift and made a lot of mistakes,” said Lin Dan.

“Christie also played aggressively, that’s why I fell behind with big gap in the second set,” added Lin Dan.

Meanwhile, Christie was excited to be able to beat his idol in front of Lin’s home crowd.

“When I was leading 20-9 in the second game, Lin was playing like he had nothing to lose and kept attacking and smashing to reel off seven straight points before I finished it off with 21-16,” said Christie.

In addition to Lin Dan, China’s Tian Houwei also suffered a first round exit on Wednesday, bowing out 21-19, 16-21, 18-21 to No. 2 seed Son Wan Ho of Korea. Son will play qualifier Ren Pengbo of China next.

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