No comment: Lin Dan makes for the exit door after losing at Hong Kong Open
Chinese great refuses to be interviewed by reporters as a mouth-watering semi-final showdown against Lee Chong Wei fails to materialise at the Coliseum
China great Lin Dan went straight for the exit door after he was surprisingly defeated by compatriot Shi Yuqi in the men’s singles quarter-finals at the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open on Friday.
The two-time Olympic champion had been expected to set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash against old nemesis Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia but the showdown failed to materialise after the former Chinese number one lost 13-21, 21-17, 21-15 at the Coliseum
At the end of the hour-long match, Lin ignored a group of reporters who waited outside the mixed zone and despite interference from World Badminton Federation officials, he hurriedly left the venue without saying a word, only stopping to sign autographs with fans waiting outside. Lin faces punishment for refusing to give out interviews and setting a good example.
Had Lin Dan won, he would have set up a 38th encounter against Lee with the mainlander holding a head-to-head 26-11 lead.
Lee was waiting in the wings, expecting Lin Dan to be his next opponent after the Malaysian ace defeated South Korea’s Son Wan-ho, second seed, 21-11, 21-12 in his quarter-final.
“It’s not only me who expects me to clash against Lin again, I think the entire badminton community was expecting it, too,” said Lee. In the end, the 35 year-old Lee will meet Shi, who the Malaysian thrashed 21-12, 21-10 at the All England final in March.
“I would expect another tough game against Lee as you can see he is in a very good form,” said Shi, who attributed his defeat over Lin by using a patient strategy. “Against Lin, I tried not to lose too much in the first game with an aim of extending the match to three games because I knew his fitness level would drop. It worked and I was able to dig deep in the third game to pull off a victory,” said the 21-year-old youngster.
The other semi-final features 2016 Olympic champion Chen Long, of China, against Denmark’s Andres Antonsen. Chen, the champion at last week’s China Open, was delighted with his performance after overcoming the resistance of South Korea’s Lee Dong-kuen 21-16, 21-13.
“My form is getting better and better and I’ m also adapting better to these conditions. Let’s see if I can make it again in Hong Kong,” he said.
In mixed doubles, Hong Kong’s medal hopes evaporated when Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet were beaten by Chinese pair Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping. The home pair, who reached the semi-finals last year, lost 21-18, 21-18.
“Maybe we were the last medal hope for Hong Kong and there was some added pressure on us,” said Tse, who won the Denmark Open with Tang last month.
“We could not match the speed of our opponents. They didn’t leave us much chance. This is a good lesson anyway.”