Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei beat Son Wan-ho and Vincent Wong Wing Ki in the semi-finals respectively to continue their incredible rivalry in the Malaysian Open final on Sunday.
Lin, China’s two-time Olympic champion, was made to work incredibly hard against Wan-ho but he eventually triumphed 27-25, 19-21, 21-16 in a thrilling encounter.
While he struggled for accuracy in the first two games, Lin’s precision and class came to the fore in the final game. He backed up a high level of aggression with some fine execution in the decider.
Speaking afterwards, Lin, who has never won the Malaysian Open, said he felt strong despite a very short turn around from his quarter-final victory and added that he hoped Chong Wei won his semi-final so the two could add to their Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal-type-rivalry.
“I had a late quarterfinal match but I went for a good rub and therapy. I felt very good,” Lin explained.
In the final of this tournament in 2006 in Kuching, Chong Wei bounced back from a 13-20 deficit in the decider to beat Lin for a spectacular comeback win.
“I can’t really remember that match in 2006,” Lin continued.
“But I know, everyone wants us to meet in the final. I hope so too.
“I’m very lucky and happy to still have a rival like Chong Wei around.
“The spectators have been amazing here. I feel very welcomed. I’ll give a good show for sure.”
Lin got his wish. It was confirmed that he will meet with Chong Wei at Stadium Perpaduan in Petra Jaya later in the day when the legendary Malaysian shuttler saw off the challenge of Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki 21-12, 21-19.
Chong Wei went about his business in a very timely manner and his less demanding route to the final could well be a deciding factor in how Sunday’s mouth-watering encounter plays out.
The women’s final, meanwhile, will be played between top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taipei and second seed Carolina Marin from Spain.
In the first semi-final played in the morning session, Tai defeated South Korea’s Sing Ji Hyun 20-22, 21-13, 21-12.
Marin was up against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, and completed a 23-21, 21-19 victory to set up a star-studded women’s final.