Bangkok: After his 72-minute, thrilling escape in the second round against Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong, top seed Lin Dan trailed by a set to unseeded Cheam June Wei of Malaysia, but rallied in a gut-check victory to down the Malaysian player 14-21, 21-16, 21-8 in 51 minutes in the quarter-final of Thailand Masters.
The Chinese badminton legend, Lin will face compatriot Lu Guangzu in the semi-finals, who outlasted Indonesia’s Firman Abdul Kholik 21-15, 21-17 in the final eight.
Meanwhile, Singaporean dark horse, Loh Kean Yew continue to enjoy a deep run at the tournament by upsetting No. 6 seed Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei, winning 21-19, 20-22, 21-11. Loh will take on Frenchman Brice Leverdez in the last four.
It’s worth noting that Loh’s coach, Mulyo Handoyo, has guided Taufik Hidayat to the 2004 Athens Olympic gold medal. During his nine-month stint in India in 2017, he had made significant contributions to the Indian men’s singles squad, especially to Kidambi Srikanth, where Srikanth was able to claim four Superseries titles and to reach a career-high of world No 2 the same year.
Leverdez, on the other hand, comfortably beat his younger opponent, 20-year-old Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia 21-11, 21-19 in just 44 minutes.
In women’s singles, No. 3 seed Michelle Li’s bid for the Thailand Masters title came to an abrupt end as the Canadian player lost to unseeded Deng Xuan of Hong Kong 21-13, 21-19.
Deng will play Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia on Saturday.
Fitriani Fitriani was riding on her momentum of beating the defending champion, Nitchaon Jindapol on Thursday to overcome Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min 14-21, 21-15, 21-18.