Sony Dwi Kuncoro holds nerve to stun Lin Dan in Singapore

Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia drops to his knees as he defeats Lin Dan in the Singapore Open semi-finals. (photo: AFP)

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.Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia drops to his knees as he defeats Lin Dan in the Singapore Open semi-finals. (photo: AFP)

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.Sony Dwi Kuncoro celebrates his win against Lin Dan of China in men's singles semi-final badminton match of the 2016 Singapore Open. (photo: AFP)

“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.Lin Dan returns a shot against Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the 2016 Singapore Open semi-finals. (photo: AFP)

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.


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