Homework v horror show: studious China ace Lin Dan sets up All-England semi-final against fantasy fan Xue Song
Five-time winner Lin Dan set up a Chinese showdown in the semi-finals of the All-England Championships after coming through a tactical battle against Danish rival Jan Jorgensen on Friday.
Lin, bidding to reach the final for the first time since 2012, rallied from a game down to prevail 10-21, 21-9, 21-15 and next meets the unseeded Xue Song, 22.
The 32-year-old double Olympic champion said he studied videos of Jorgensen during his two-month winter break as he worked out ways to avenge the defeat he suffered at last year’s world championships.
“I made sure I took time out to analyse him and find a way to beat him,” Lin said.
“He was really aggressive and put me under a lot of pressure. I learnt a lot by losing the first set.”
WATCH: Lin Dan beats Jorgensen in the All-England quarter-final
Lin, the oldest player left in the draw, seemed flat in the opener as Jorgensen found his range down the line but his movement and creativity got better and he went on to complete victory in 67 minutes.
Xue’s surge continued when he ousted Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen 21-19, 23-25, 21-11, the Chinese saying that focusing on American fantasy horror programmes had helped to keep him relaxed off court this week.
“I love to watch them, especially hero stories, they are my favourite,” he said.
Kento Momota’s attempt to become Japan’s first male winner came to an end against Tian Houwei of China, going down 19-21, 21-15, 21-16.
In the women’s event, top seed Carolina Marin of Spain beat fourth-ranked Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand for the first time in five matches to keep up her title defence.
In an attritional battle of China’s former champions, 2014 winner Wang Shixian prevailed against Li Xuerui.
Wang next faces unseeded Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan who knocked out India’s second-ranked Saina Nehwal 21-15, 21-16.
“I just want to improve and be more patient,” said Nehwal who was playing her first event for nearly three months following injury.
WATCH: Tai Tzu-ying beats Saina Nehwal in the All-England quarter-final