Hong Kong: Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, two of the most prolific champions in men’s badminton history, have put together one of the greatest rivalries in the sport. However, badminton fans will not able to see their 40th meeting in the Hong Kong Open semi-finals.
No. 6 seed Shi Yuqi of China upset third-seeded Lin Dan 13-21, 21-17, 21-15, in a riveting match in Hong Kong Coliseum on Friday, stepping into what so many hoped would be Lin Dan’s place opposite Lee Chong Wei in one of Saturday’s semifinals.
Shi Yuqi, the rangy 21-year-old, remained steady after he took the lead at 14-12 in the decider and never looked back.
“Lin made a lot of errors at the end of the third set, he might be exhausted,” said Shi.
When asked about playing against Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the semi-finals, he said: “I am not going to think too much, I will give it my best.”
On the contrary, No. 8 seed Lee Chong produced a sensational performance to storm back from 3-11 in the second set to seal a 21-11, 21-12 win against No. 2 seed Son Wan-Ho of Korea in 37 minutes.
“I never thought I was able to score 14 consecutive points in the second set. I was getting ready to play the decider,” said Lee.
This is the second time Shi Yuqi has stood in the way of a Lee Chong Wei-Lin Dan matchup. He also did it in the 2017 All England semi-finals when he beat Lin Dan 24-22, 21-11 in a 50 minutes battle.
The No. 5 seed Chen Long of China will play Anders Antonsen of Denmark in other men’s singles semi-finals.