Chinese badminton ace Lin Dan advanced to the Malaysia Open semi-finals Friday after beating Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama in a high-octane match that left his opponent exhausted.
In a gruelling 70-minute match, the 35-year-old five-time world champion floored the much younger Tsuneyama – 13 years his junior – winning 16-21, 21-17, 21-10 in an hour and 10 minutes.
The world number 16 attributed his victory to experience, after tying 17-17 in the second game having lost the first.
“It was my experience that counted today, coming into a high-pressure situation like this,” Lin told reporters after the match.
“He was patient in the first game, and the second game was close, but I managed to gain the upper hand. He is not an attacking player so that worked for me too.”
Lin will meet compatriot and second seed Shi Yuqi in the semi-finals, adding that he hoped to continue with “the same tempo”.
The other men’s singles semi-finals will see China’s Chen Long go up against Indonesian youngster Jonatan Christie.
Christie needed just 41 minutes to dispatch Denmark’s sixth seed Viktor Axelsen 21-18, 21-19, while Chen was also on song to beat India’s K. Srikanth by the same score.
The women’s singles saw Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying breeze into the last four after she dismantled Thai stalwart Ratchanok Intanon 21-19, 21-13.
Tai will go on to face China’s Chen Yufei, who beat South Korean Sung Ji-hyun 21-18, 21-14.
The other semi-final pits Akane Yamaguchi against Nozomi Okuhara.
In the men’s doubles, Indonesian top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo were beaten by countrymen Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto 23-21, 19-21, 21-18.
Men’s singles: Lin Dan (CHN) bt Kanta Tsuneyama (JPN) 16-21, 21-17, 21-10; Chen Long (CHNx4) bt K. Srikanth (INDx8) 21-18, 21-19
Women’s Singles: Tai Tzu-Ying (TPEx1) bt Ratchanok Intanon (THAx7) 21-19, 21-13; Chen Yufei (CHNx3) bt Sung Ji-hyun (KOR) 21-18, 21-14
Men’s Doubles: Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen (CHNx2) bt Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan (INAx6) 21-13, 16-21, 21-17; Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto (INAx8) bt Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INAx1) 23-21, 19-21, 21-18
Women’s Doubles: Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan (CHNx5) bt Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara (JPNx3) 21-17, 21-13; Chang Ye-na-Jung/Kyung-eun (KOR) bt Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (JPNx1) 21-13, 16-21, 21-17
Mixed Doubles: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong (CHNx1) bt Nipithon Phuangphuapet/Savitree Amitrapai (THA) 21-13, 21-19; Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping (CHNx2) bt Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (MASx5) 21-19, 16-21, 27-25