[ 2007-01-18 09:33 ]
China's world No.1
Lin Dan receives a shot from Indonesia' s Taufik Hidayat during their
first round of the men's singles clash of the Malaysian Open January 17,
2006. Lin won in straight games (21-19m 23-21) to get a sweet revenge over
his Doha Asiad defeat to the Indonesian last December.
Badminton world No 1
Lin Dan yesterday scored sweet revenge over main rival Olympic champion Taufik
Hidayat with an emphatic win in straight games
in the first round of the men's singles of the Malaysian
In the eagerly anticipated sequel to their Doha Asian Games final clash four
weeks ago, Lin dispatched bad boy Hidayat 21-19, 23-21 in 41 minutes before a
capacity crowd at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium.
The crowd were expecting a repeat of the classic encounter in Qatar, but
Hidayat was clearly below his best in the grudge match.
Fuelled by the desire to avenge his defeat in the final in Doha, Lin's
footwork and wrist play earned the Chinese ace a second round clash against Korea's Park
Simmering tension between the pair, sparked by an astonishing personal attack
on Lin by Hidayat, where he called him arrogant and unfriendly ahead of the team
event in Doha, appeared to be water under the bridge.
While Lin could not have asked for a better start to the new season in the
newly introduced Super Series, Hidayat did not appear downcast, insisting he was
eyeing the All England Championships in March - the only major title missing
from the Indonesian ace's personal showcase.
"I thought Hidayat was not at his best. Personally, the level of the match
was not as high as that during the Asian Games final. But I'm happy to have this
kind of start," Lin told reporters.
Despite the loss, Hidayat, whose attempt to get back into the tie in the
second game was thwarted by Lin's crafty wrist play, was pleased to taste action
before a capacity crowd.
"I don't think I did too badly. The crowd created an atmosphere that I really
like. But I'm not on top of my game, as I got back to training only a week ago
after my victory in Doha. If I had been sharper, I could have won the second
game after leading 16-11," he told reporters.
"Still I'm not too worried. It's the All England title that I'm aiming for."
The clash between the two was a fitting start to the Malaysian Open, which is
the first of 13 Super Series events that culminate in a grand final in December.
Meanwhile, world No 2 and local hero Lee Chong Wei, who is eyeing his fourth
Malaysian Open title on the trot, needed only 25 minutes to overcome German
shuttler Bjoern Joppien 21-14, 21-9.