ALL ENGLAND 2012 QF – Lin Dan outshines Taufik

In the battle of the Olympic champions – they were respectively 2008 and 2004 gold medallists, Lin Dan got the best out of Taufik Hidayat in an uneven performance from […]

In the battle of the Olympic champions – they were respectively 2008 and 2004 gold medallists, Lin Dan got the best out of Taufik Hidayat in an uneven performance from the Indonesian.

By Raphael Sachetat, live from Birmingham. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

When the two champions entered the hall, they both had their share of cheers. Taufik Hidayat (photo) first, wearing his usually sleeveless red shirt with Indonesian flag, followed by Lin Dan, wearing a glow-in-the-dark orange T-shirt – a sign he was on court to outshine his opponent.

Both players started the game showing a lot of respect for each other: long rallies and a score that levelled up each time until 5-all. Mulyo Handoyo was on one end, Zhong Bo and Xia Xuanze on the other side, watching two of the greatest shuttlers ever, performing in complete silence, bothered only by photographers’ cameras clicking.

Hand in hand, with superb rallies full of hard smashes, deception shots, incredible net play, Taufik and Lin Dan reached 15-15, giving the spectators exactly what they were looking for. Lin Dan pushed it up a gear to lead 17-15, but the Indonesian brought back two amazing smashes before nailing one of his own, and then winning one of their amazing net battles and catch back 17-17. The Chinese kept attacking and this proved efficient as he took the next two points, before Taufik committed a direct error in a service return, giving the game to Lin Dan 18-21.

The second game, unfortunately, was nothing like the first one. Taufik was slower and Lin Dan (photo)  kept hammering smashes, making it a real “One Dan Show” which led him to an easy 21-8 victory.

I’m happy I have beaten Taufik today, especially after he had beaten my compatriot Chen Jin last night. I was expecting a tough fight, and in the first game, I saw a familiar Taufik and that was a very interesting match. In the second game, he looked a bit tired so it was easier for me,” said Lin Dan.

The Indonesian, on his end, was rather happy with his performance in spite of the loss. “I knew that against Lin Dan, I had to give it all in the first game, as it’s very difficult for me to play at this rhythm three games – I’m getting old. But most of all, I enjoyed myself on court – this is a big difference from last year, for instance, where my game was just far from it is now. I’ll try to do better next week in Switzerland,” added Taufik.

Lin Dan was to wait for his opponent later in the day as Chen Long and Kenichi Tago were fighting for a spot in the semi-final, while Lee Hyun Il (photo) secured his spot in the top half against Liew Daren, as Lee Chong Wei’s probable opponent.

All results HERE

Click here for live streamed coverage of the All England from the BWF’s Youtube channel

If you are coming for the Championships, or whenever you visit Birmingham, try Badzine’s partner hotel, the City Nites Apartments. Offering fully-serviced apartments, it is a stylish setting for long or short-term business people and visitors, and a great place to stay during the All England Championships.

CLICK HERE to make a reservation at the City Nites

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.