Lin Dan proved he meant business as he marched into the Sunrise-Yonex Hong Kong Open final following a convincing victory over world No 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia at the Hong Kong Coliseum yesterday.
It took the reigning Olympic and world champion just 46 minutes to beat the Malaysian ace 21-16, 21-14.
The women's world number one, Wang Shixian of China, was also bundled out of the tournament, beaten 21-10, 19-21, 21-13 by Tine Baun of Denmark. It will be the Dane's first appearance in the final of the US$250,000 Super Series tournament after making it to the semi-finals in Hong Kong a couple of years ago.
Despite the comfortable win, Lin, also known as 'Super Dan' for his supremacy in the sport, played down the result. 'There is nothing extraordinary about it. If Lee had played just a little better he could have won the match and I'd be the one packing my bags to go home,' Lin said.
Both players will also compete in next week's China Open, followed by the Macau Open and the Super Series finals in Liuzhou, Guangxi province, next month.
Lee was bitterly disappointed as it was his first tournament this year where he failed to reach the final but vowed to make amends next week. 'I made too many mistakes today,' he said.
'But I will meet Lin again at the China Open and I hope to play a lot better.' The Malaysian also blamed himself for arriving late at the venue and had just five minutes to warm up. 'I should have come to the venue earlier,' he said. 'I've learned my lesson now.'
Lin, the champion in Hong Kong from 2003-2007, will meet compatriot Chen Jin in today's final, a repeat of June's Singapore Open, where Lin pulled out of the match just minutes before the start because of gastroenteritis.
World number five Chen upset compatriot Chen Long 21-14, 21-18, the world number two, to gain valuable Olympic qualifying points.
Baun, meanwhile, was on a high after overcoming Wang in her semi-final. 'I am so delighted to beat the world number one,' said the 32-year-old veteran.
'Even though she came back in the second game, I was so confident. I have had many small injuries bugging me, but now I feel free and can relax. You enjoy the game much more when you return after injury.'
Baun will take on China's Wang Xin in today's final. Wang Xin beat Wang Yihan, the 2009 champion, 21-12, 21-18 in the other semi-final.