BIRMINGHAM, England, March 7 (Reuters) - World champion Chen Long outmuscled fellow Chinese Lin Dan 21-13 21-12 in a one-way semi-final at the All-England Championships on Saturday to confirm a shift in power in men’s badminton.
Chen, who has remained in Lin’s shadow as he has advanced to the top of the rankings, rubber-stamped his status with a superb all-round performance. It was a largely insipid display from Lin, the five-times All-England champion, who was baffled by the decision from television chiefs not to broadcast the standout clash of the tournament from the main arena court.
“I was disappointed not being on center court,” the 31-year- told reporters. “I think there were more than two points there that were arguably lost (with no video replay available).
“If there had been, the umpire could have made a far better judgment and it might have been another story.”
However, the bigger picture — Lin admitted he was not “pumped up” playing his compatriot — told of Chen’s superiority in their 45-minute contest.
The world champion simply played a far tighter game with better interchanges as Lin looked bereft of ideas. “The important phase was coming from behind in the second,” said Chen, who beat Lin for the first time in Superseries events at his seventh attempt.
“This win means that I can improve knowing I can beat players like that.”
Chen will play Jan O Jorgensen, Denmark’s world number two, in the final as he looks to regain the title he first won in 2013. Jorgensen became the first European to reach the men’s final since Peter Gade in 2004 with a crushing 21-11 21-12 victory over Japan’s Sho Sasaki.
The Dane has yet to drop a game this week. The women’s final will be contested by India’s Saina Nehwal and world champion Carolina Marin of Spain, the second time no Chinese player has reached the final in three years.
Nehwal, a former semi-finalist, defeated Sun Yu of China, while an ever vocal Marin saw off young Chinese Taipei tyro Tai Tzu Ying 21-18 21-11.
Nehwal put her victory down to watching films of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan every day this week.
“It has calmed me,” she said.
Editing by Ed Osmond