Lin Dan enters All England final to play Shi Yuqi

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Lin Dan to play Shi Yuqi in the All England final. (photo: AP)
Lin Dan to play Shi Yuqi in the All England final. (photo: AP)

Birmingham: Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan will be aiming to win his seventh All England title at Birmingham Arena when he faces Shi Yuqi in the finals on Sunday.

The 34-year-old Lin polished off 25-year-old compatriot – Huang Yuxiang in a startlingly difficult than expected three-setter, winning the 21-14, 13-21, 21-11 rout to glide into his tenth All England final. Huang never had a chance against Lin in the third set, when Lin took full advantage of support from the crowd to beat his younger teammate in 62 minutes. Lin had a chance to win his seventh All England should he able to beat Shi Yuqi in the final on Sunday.

In other men’s singles semi-final, No. 7 seed Shi Yuqi of China had to play strong defense to thwart aggressive attacks from No. 5 seed Son Wan Ho of Korea, winning the semi-final match 21-17, 21-14 in 45 minutes.

Son who had fought through two three-setters en-routing to the semi-finals, looked tired at the end of the second set.

“I played with good speed and rhythm, but I think Son was probably tired after yesterday’s match,” said Shi.

Shi who defeated Lin Dan at last year’s semi-final, but lost to Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei in the final, looked more confident in this year’s edition.

“This time, I am going to play against my teammate, therefore, I should be able to prepare better against my opponent in the final,” added Shi.

In men’s doubles, the World No. 1 pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia is one match away from defending their All England title after beating Mads Conrad Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark 21-11, 21-19 in just 38 minutes.

“There’s still room for improvement, we made a lot of mistakes in today’s match. We lost our concentration a little bit in the second set when we were called for service fault when we were leading 4-0, “said Sukamuljo after the match.

Gideon/Sukamuljo will play the winner between Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe of Japan and No. 2 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.

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