Tokyo: Lin Dan, the greatest badminton player of all time, survived the longest men’s three-set singles match in the second round of the $700,000 Japan Open as he bounced back from dropping the first set to produce a battling performance to beat No. 5 seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan 10-21, 21-15, 21-19.
Lin who has been indeed underperforming in a lot of tournaments this season and currently found himself slipped to 15th place in the BWF world ranking, will meet the Japanese rising star World No. 4 Kento Momota in the quarter-finals on Friday.
The local favorite and No. 3 seed Kento Momota continued his red hot form at the BWF World Tour Super 750 as he overcame Rasmus Gemke of Denmark 21-16, 21-18 in 58 minutes.
Anthony Sinisuka Ginting who beat Kento Momota and Olympic champion Chen Long at the Asian Games two weeks ago, also entered the quarter-finals after sending H. S Prannoy of India packing. Ginting will face No. 1 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark next.
In mixed doubles, two Malaysian pairs – the unseeded Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying and No. 6 seeds Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai also advanced to the quarter-finals.
Chan/Goh trashed Pranaav Jerry Chopra/N. Sikki Reddy of India 21-16, 21-16 to set up a quarter-final encounter with Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesia. Goh/Lai secured two match points to shut out He Jiting/Du Yue of China in straight-sets to win 21-13, 23-21 in 42 minutes. Goh/Lai will meet No. 2 seeds Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping of China for a semi-final berth.
Meanwhile, another Malaysian mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing lost to China’s No. 5 seeds Zhang Nan/Li Yinhui 9-21, 18-21.