MALAYSIA OPEN 2015 SF – Clash of the Titans

Lin Dan is through to the final of the Maybank Malaysia Open Superseries Premier for the first time in nine years, in the hunt for a first ever title. By […]

Lin Dan is through to the final of the Maybank Premier for the first time in nine years, in the hunt for a first ever title.

By Mior Muzaffar Mior Dahalan, Badzine Correspondent live in Kuala Lumpur.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

The last and most eagerly awaited match of the day was that between five-time World Champion Lin Dan (pictured) from China and the reigning European Champion, Jan O. Jorgensen from Denmark.  This match was billed as clash of the titans by the organizer and both of these players certainly lived up to the expectations of both organizers and fans, justifying the top billing by playing three great games that finished 14-21, 21-19, 21-17 in favour of the Chinese badminton legend.

The match started with some controversial calls from the umpire faulting Lin Dan’s service three times in the early stage of the match.  Lin Dan wasn’t impressed by these calls and was visibly upset.  Even his coach, former world champion Xia Xuanze, tried to intervene but to no avail.  Jan Jorgensen (pictured below) took advantage of the situation and won the first game comfortably 21-14.

The second game was neck-and-neck between these two great players up to 17-all when Lin Dan used his vast experience to remain calm in a pressure situation and won the second game 21-19.  The decider was another close affair between these two players where all shots and tricks in the book were used and spectators cheered on every great smash and return.

In this game, Jorgensen was leading 15-11 but he just could not muster the final push to win this match in what would be his third win against Lin Dan in 9 matches.  Eventually Lin Dan won the third game 21-17 to the absolute delight of the fans in the stadium.

When asked about the service fault calls in the first game, Lin Dan said, “This match isn’t about the player, it’s about the umpire and after my services were faulted I was not in the mood to continue the first game.

“Jorgensen was becoming more confident in the second and even the crowd was cheering for him.  I’m glad I managed to win the second game.

“During the match, you see me always gesturing to my coaches after losing a point.  The reason was that it can be very emotional for me during a game, that’s why I do it.

“I just want to get my form back.  I’m not thinking about the Olympics now, but if Lee Chong Wei is playing in the Olympics, I will join him for sure.  And if both of us are playing in the Olympics, both of us will be the oldest players in the tournament,” joked the two-time gold medallist.

Right after the match, Jorgensen was not in the mood to give any interviews and stormed out of the scheduled press conference.  But every bit the professional he is, Jorgensen came back five minutes later and was in a more relaxed mood to give his interview.

“The game started with the service call fault by the umpire, and I kept my composure and won the first game,” said Jorgensen.  “The second was different, although the score was close, but I made far too many mistakes.  The third game I had my chance but I blew it.  I almost had it.

“I’m just disappointed right now.  To be honest, he didn’t win it.  I gave the match away.”

The final will be one of two to replay the Incheon Asian Games gold medal contests as Lin will take on compatriot Chen Long, the reigning Superseries Finals, All England, and World Champion.  Chen Long beat Wang Zhengming (pictured) in straight games.

Finals line-up
WD: Luo Ying / Luo Yu (CHN) [3] vs. Jang Ye Na / Jung Kyung Eun (KOR)
XD: Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [1] vs. Xu Chen / Ma Jin (CHN) [3]
MS: Chen Long (CHN) [1] vs. Lin Dan (CHN) [5]
WS: Li Xuerui (CHN) [1] vs. Carolina Marin (ESP) [6]
MD: Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) [1] vs. Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (INA) [4]

Click here for complete semi-final results

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