Malaysian World No 1 Lee Chong Wei yesterday said that China’s Lin Dan is the toughest opponent he’s ever played.
The rivalry between the two players is nothing new, and though their world rankings suggest otherwise (1 & 98) , largely due to an injury suffered by Dan, their head-to-head record of 9-22 exemplifies the Chinese star’s dominance.
“Lin Dan is the toughest opponent I have ever played,” Lee Chong Wei, who arrived in Mumbai yesterday to play for the Mumbai Masters franchise in the inaugural Indian Badminton League, said.
Speaking about his preparations before facing Dan, he said: “I have played with him so many times, but I prefer to take every match as a new match. I prefer to forget the last match result and move on.” Having won silver in both the 2008 Beijing as well as 2012 London Games, an Olympic gold eludes Wei.
Right now though that’s not on his mind. “Immediately after the IBL, I want to train hard for the China Masters Super Series (10-15 September).
An Olympic gold is surely something that’s missing from my cabinet, but there’s still a long way to go (for the next Games in 2016). If I am fit for another two years, I will think about it,” he said.
Having retired due to cramp during the summit clash against Dan at the recently-concluded World Championships in Guangzhou, Lee Chong’s participation in this tournament was doubtful. But the Malaysia said he’s fit and raring to go against the Krrish Delhi Smashers today.
“After the World Championships, my body didn’t recover well. It would not have made sense for me to come here earlier as it was important for me to recover first. Now that I have recovered, I hope to play well.
I want to win for my teammates especially, Tine (Baun), Vladimir Ivanov, Marc Zweibler and the other Indian players, who have been playing very well,” said the 30-year-old.