China’s Lin Dan fought his way into the China Masters badminton final here on Saturday after the hosts ensured a fourth title in the men’s doubles.
China already sealed the women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles after the quarterfinals on Friday.
Lin, world and Olympic champion, outlasted world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia 22-20, 15-21, 21-7 in a fiercely competed men’s semifinal at the six-day Super Series event.
"Both of us brought our ability to a full display tonight. The first two sets were tough but the third one was good," said Lin.
Lin went straight to the victory after leading 11-7 to change sides in the decisive set, hitting two winners and benefitting from eight Lee’s mistakes in the second part of the third set.
Lin matched Lee point for point in the opening set, featured with exquisite techniques but hardly posed as a threat in the following one.
"I have been making the same mistake in this tournament that I may lose many consecutive points in a match. I think this should blame my irregular training after the worlds," said the 26-year-old Lin.
Lee had his own problem to deal with.
"Lin was more steady than me. Besides, I strained my foot a little bit trailing at 4-6 in the third set so I was reluctant to fight very hard," he said.
Lin will square off against Boosak Posana of Thailand, who overcame world number two Chen Jin of China 21-16, 4-21, 21-19.
Posana, eliminating world number three Peter Gade in yesterday’s quarterfinals, said he already went farther than he had expected.
"My goal was the last eight. I didn’t have any pressure today," said Ponsana, 27.
Guo Zhendong/Xue Chen edged Malaysian third seed Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah 21-12, 21-19 to face off against world champions Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng, who defeated young South Korean pair Cho Gun Woo/Yoo Yeon Seong, 16-21, 21-16, 21-15.
"They are more experienced than us so we decided to focus on one point — speed," said Xu, 25.
Choong, 33, admitted that he and his teammate Lee, 34, failed to keep up with their opponents.
"Our problem today was that we did not keep up with their pace. They did a really good job," he said.
Dark horse qualifier Wang Xin, eliminating world number three Tine Rasmussen and seventh seeded Pi Hongyan from France, was stopped by national teammate Wang Lin, world number two, 13-21, 21-14, 12-21.
"There is a gap between me and Lin, so I need to work harder to reach the top level. Besides, Lin knows me well as a teammate to take on me, so I felt quite uneasy in the latter part of the match," Wang said.
In the other women’s semifinal, Wang Shixian, junior team member, stunned newly crowned world champion Lu Lan, 16-21, 21-11, 21-14.
"I have been pressure free so I can bring my potential to a good display tonight. I tried to drag her into rallies which proved a right strategy," said Wang, 19, who bagged this year’s Malaysian Open Golden Grand Prix gold.
In the women’s doubles, Beijing Olympics champions Du Jing/Yu Yang clinched an easy 21-9?21-17 win over Gao Ling/Wei Yili, who both retired from the Chinese national team after the Beijing Games.
Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei occupied the other spot in the final as they beat Pan Pan/Tian Qing, 21-11, 21-13.
Xie Zhongbo/Zhang Yawen are closing to defending their China Masters title after beating All England winners He Hanbin/Yu Yang, 21-13, 26-24.
They will face Tao Jiangming/Wang Xiaoli, the winners over Chen Zhiben/Zhang Jinkang 21-15, 21-12.