Kuala Lumpur: World number one Chen Long continued his dominant form on Thursday to breeze into the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open, joining his superstar Chinese compatriot Lin Dan.
Chen needed only 35 minutes to dispatch India’s Parupalli Kashyap 21-10, 21-6, harrying his foe with deep forehand attacks and precise smashes.
“I played well today, but I’m not thinking that far ahead for now. I am just focusing on one match at a time,” Chen said after the win.
Lin, a five-time world champ and twice Olympic gold medallist who is regarded by many as one of the greatest singles players ever, passed his first real test comfortably.
Lin brushed aside India’s HS Prannoy 21-15, 21-14 to keep his sights trained on the only title missing from his glittering career.
It was the first time Lin, the current world number three, broke a sweat in Kuala Lumpur. His first-round opponent Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia had to withdraw after just two points on Wednesday due to a back injury.
Lin dictated play almost at will, forcing Prannoy deep with his drives in the first game and stepping up the pace in the second with a series of forehand smashes.
“This was my first proper match of the tournament and I couldn’t afford to take him lightly as Indian players are improving very fast,” Lin said.
“I also can’t preserve my energy for the next tie because in a premier tournament like this, every player will give you a tough game.”
Lin, 31, has tasted success before in Kuala Lumpur, winning the World Championship here in 2007 and the Thomas Cup in 2010, but the Malaysia Open has remained elusive.
That is due in part to the dominance of the tournament by its notable absentee, Malaysian Lee Chong Wei.
Lee has won a record 10 Malaysia Open titles but is now serving a doping suspension.
“I have won major championships here except this tournament. Hopefully that changes this time around,” Lin said.
Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen, the world number two, also waltzed into the final eight thanks to a 21-7, 21-10 win over Kenichi Tago of Japan.
In the women’s singles, world number three and top seed Li Xuerui edged rising Japanese star Akane Yamaguchi in a marathon encounter, 21-16, 10-21, 21-17.
Spain’s Carolina Marin celebrated her new ranking as world number two with a 21-15, 21-19 victory over Iris Wang of the United States.