Chen Long beats Lin Dan to enter Australian Open semis

Lin Dan shakes hand with Chen Long. (photo: AP)
Lin Dan shakes hand with Chen Long. (photo: AP)

Sydney: Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China stared down defeat and saved three match points before knocking two time Olympic champion Lin Dan out of the Australian Open on Friday with a 21-16, 12-21, 23-21 victory in their thrilling quarter-final held at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre in Australia.

Chen will next face Lee Hyun Il of Korea on Saturday after the 37-year-old unseeded Korean edged No. 8 seed Tian Houwei of China 17-21, 21-15, 21-18 in an evening quarter-final, extended his career head-to-head victory against Tian to 2-0.

The World No. 6 Chen Long had to call upon all his resources of skill, poise and experience to claw back from 18-20 in the decider in front of a frenzied crowd at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre to secure the win when Lin crumbled at the net with an awful drop shot.

Last week’s Indonesia Open champion – India’s Kidambi Srikanth also reached the semi-finals by overcoming compatriot Sai Praneeth 25-23, 21-17 in 43 minutes.

“I’ve missed six to seven tournaments last year, I am excited to play as many games as possible this year,” said Srikanth.

Srikanth will meet China’s Shi Yuqi on Saturday. Shi progressed with a 21-17, 21-12 victory over Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus.

Malaysia’s challenges in both men’s and mixed doubles have fizzled out after Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi and Chan Peng Soon/Cheah Yee See were defeated by their respective opponents.


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