Singapore: Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan was dumped out by the veteran from Indonesia Sony Dwi Kuncoro on a day when men’s doubles and mixed doubles No. 1 seeds were also sent packing at the Singapore Open semi-finals.
The Chinese badminton superstar Lin Dan looked sluggish in the opening game as Kuncoro crossed the finish line with a 21-10 easy win.
Lin Dan fought back while trailing 9-10 to win the second set 21-17 and forced a decider.
Kuncoro continued to demonstrate great resilience against Lin, feeling the pressure after Lin managed to rally from 19-20 to tie the decider at 20-20, Kuncoro held on to see off Lin 22-20 in a three-set tussle. Kuncoro will play South Korean Son Wan Ho in the final. Son defeated Angus Ng Ka Long 22-20, 21-16 in the other men’s semi-finals.
“It took me too long to get into my momentum, I lost the first game too quickly, I should have done better,” said Lin Dan.
As for the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who had endured a series of back, waist and wrist injuries in the last few years, it was a significant victory for him.
“I told myself to stay focus in the second and the third game. It’s definitely an encouraging comeback for me. It’s been a while since I’ve had such a match against a great player,” said Sony Dwi Kuncoro.
In men’s doubles, No. 4 seeds Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan pulled off a 21-16, 23-21 surprise win over No. 1 seeds Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-Seong of South Korea on Saturday. Fu/Zhang face Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda of Japan in the finals of the US$350,000 tournament.
Meanwhile, last week’s Malaysia Open winners Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir failed to advance to the mixed doubles final after they bowed out to Korean pair Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na 14-21, 16-21.
Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand was in unstoppable form as she fended off several late rallies from Akane Yamaguchi to beat the Japanese 21-12, 22-20. Intanon will set up a Singapore Open title showdown with defending champion Sun Yu of China on Sunday.
The women’s doubles final will be playing out on Sunday between top seeds Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi of Japan and second seeds Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii of Indonesia.