World No. 1 Lin Dan, two other Chinese sail into badminton semis


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: The world's top singles player, Lin Dan of China, defeated India's Anup Sridhar 22-20, 21-7 in the men's quarterfinals Friday to join two other Chinese in the round of last four at the World Badminton Championships.

In other quarterfinal matches Friday, Bao Chunlai beat Kenneth Jonassen of Denmark 21-18, 21-15, and Chen Yu defeated Ronald Susilo of Singapore 21-14,21-16. Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who defeated Peter Gade of Denmark 22-20, 21-18, is the only non-Chinese in the semifinals.  

Defending champion Lin Dan, who will face Bao in the semifinals, had to overcome a tough opening game before getting into his stride to take the second game and the match with ease.

"I was a bit cautious in the opening game, and my opponent also played very well. His anticipation of my shots made it difficult too," said Lin Dan, the tournament's top seed.

For the Bangalore-based Sridhar, defeat to the world No. 1 was no shame.

"To beat someone like Lin Dan, you need to produce something special, but my best was not good enough. He was superb, especially in the second game, and to be honest I cannot see anyone beating him in this tournament," Sridhar said.

The tournament, which has had a fair share of upsets, saw another one Friday when 9th seed Kuncoro defeated fifth seed Gade to earn his first ever appearance in the semifinals of the World Championships.

"It's really satisfying when you beat a player who is ranked higher than you and have won so many honors before," said Kuncoro, who will clash with Chen in the semifinals.

"But my journey is not over yet. I believe I have the chance to win the crown, just like the other semifinalists," said the 23-year old Kuncoro, who was a three-time winner of the Asian Badminton Championship title and a bronze medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Gade's exit from the tournament was followed by the loss of teammate Jonassen to Bao.

"It's a bit disappointing for Denmark in this championship. We have no one left in the tournament. I thought I was able to carry Denmark's flag but it also did not happen," said Gade.

He was unlucky at times, once during a net play that hit the cord and the other occasion when a smash went wide by a whisker.

"Those things made all the difference between winning and losing today. But I will be back and I am looking forward to the Olympics in Beijing next year," said the 30-year old Gade.

There was also another upset in the men's doubles with the defending champions and the No. 1 seeds, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng of China, losing their quarterfinal clash to Malaysia's Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah, who are seeded sixth, 21-15,18-21,19-2.



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