FOUR-time world champion Lin Dan of China expressed surprise after reaching the men’s singles final of the World Championships.
Without any high-level competition for a year, Lin Dan gave a solid performance on Saturday to beat surprise semi-finalist Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam 21-17, 21-15 in 49 minutes.
It will be Lin Dan’s sixth final appearance in his eighth World Championships.
He was the winner in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011.
In fact, he had also beaten Lee Chong Wei in the 2011 final.
After pulling off some brilliant moves en route to the victory over Tien Minh, Lin Dan was full of praise for his opponent.
“I admire my opponent Tien Minh very much. He is also 30 years old – just like me.
“He is a strong-willed player and hardworking, just like my team-mate Du Pengyu,” said Lin Dan.
“Tien Minh has done well here and I think this is his best achievement in the World Championships. Naturally, I came prepared to tackle him.
“It took some adjustments for me but I managed to keep my composure to win it.
“I have not played in any high-level tournament for a year and it is unbelievable to reach the final again.
“All my efforts have paid off. I did not do much training but I maintained my physical fitness.
“It is great to make a comeback in this manner.”
Today, Lin Dan will play top seed and good friend Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the final.
“Chong Wei is an experienced player and I can see that he is well prepared this time. I think it will be an excellent match for all the fans,” said Lin Dan.