Tommy Sugiarto shocks Lin Dan to reach India Open semis

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Tommy Sugiarto dropping to his knees to celebrate his India Open victory over Lin Dan. (Photo: S. Subramanium)

New Delhi: Indonesian shuttler Tommy Sugiarto fought off the heat and two-time Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan of China on Friday to advance to the semi-final at the India Open.Tommy Sugiarto dropping to his knees to celebrate his India Open victory over Lin Dan. (Photo: S. Subramanium)

 

Tommy Sugiarto, seeded 8th, needed 78 minutes to upset ‘Super Dan’ 21-17, 15-21, 21-17.

The 26 year-old Tommy Sugiarto played bolder more opportunistic badminton in the first set and dictated play from the start of the game, while Lin Dan seemed oddly passive.Lin Dan was unhappy with his performance(Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Lin Dan, the five-time world champion reasserted himself in the second set with more aggressive play, after trailing 2-7, the world number three from China lifted his game to beat Tommy in the second set.

In a neck and neck an incredibly up-and-down decider, after Tommy Sugiarto levelled the score at 16-16, the Indonesian then held his nerve, regained his composure and concentration by narrowly winning the three-set thriller. Tommy Sugiarto will play Viktor Axelsen of Denmark on Saturday.

“You know who Lin Dan is. He is a legend in badminton. I had lost to him thrice so I had to come up with my best as I know Lin Dan’s game,” Sugiarto said still feeling out of breath after battling for an one hour and 18 minutes.

“He is a superstar wherever he goes. The crowd was backing him so I had to motivate myself and concentrate point after point. I am happy, this is one of my best wins,” he added.

Talking about Lin Dan’s game, Sugiarto said: “I think he has changed his game in the last few years. His game was more of speed and power but now he has more accuracy. For me I had to match his accuracy.”

Second seed Kidambi Srikanth of India also survived a comeback from Japan’s Takuma Ueda on his way to a hard-fought quarter-final win on Friday. The Indian shuttler eventually sealing a 21-15, 23-25, 21-18 victory after 79 minutes of play.

In women’s singles, top seed Saina Nehwal from India breezed past Indonesian Hana Ramadhini 21-15, 21-12; Meanwhile, second seed Carolina Marin was pushed to the limit by Japanese Nozomi Okuhara before she fought her way back to prevail 21-15, 17-21, 21-15 in 74 minutes.

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