*Chen Long defeats his idol in the men’s singles final
* There is no such thing as ‘transition’ in men’s singles
* ‘Still lot to learn from Lin Dan and Chong Wei’ – Chen Long
* Lin Dan, Chong Wei, Peter Gade and Taufik are ‘extraordinary’
The Malaysia Open title remained elusive for him when he was beaten by compatriot Chen Long in the final but Malaysians have certainly not seen the last of the five-times world champion and two times Olympic champion Lin Dan.
“I’ll be back next year,” said the 31-year-old Lin Dan, who has often been called ‘Super Dan’ and ‘Showmaster’ after his 22-20, 13-21, 11-21 defeat to compatriot and current World No 1 and world champion Chen Long.
The men’s singles final lasted a good 78 minutes as Lin Dan tried in vain to stop Chen Long from running away with the title in the USD500,000 Maybank Malaysia Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
Lin Dan certainly lighted up the stadium each time he took the court and badminton fans were treated to top class badminton from the Chinese who has a big following in Malaysia.
Replying to questions afterwards, Lin Dan somewhat cool despite his failure to land the elusive Malaysia Open title in the absence of 10-time champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei, said:
“Next year’s Malaysia Open will still be part of the Olympic ranking points tournament, which means I will be gunning to garner more points for the trip to Rio (Olympics) in 2016. I will be back and try to win the elusive title next year.
“I had a good first set but made a lot of mistakes in the second. The third was another tough set but it was too late to catch up even though I tried hard to narrow the gap.
“I lost but I have not given up on winning the Malaysian. You will see me again next year.”
Chen Long lost the first set after a close battle for points. In the second Chen Long who beat Lin Dan in the All England semi-finals in March, tightened his game and dictated play in his 21-13 win.
In the rubber Chen Long was in cruise mood as he grabbed a 12-3 lead but that was when Lin Dan “woke up” from his slumber and narrowed the gap to 10-13.
But Chen Long checked the slide and and sailed through for a 21-11 victory to win the title and pocket USD37,500 in prize money that came with it.
” I have beaten Lin Dan in the last two meetings but it does not make me a ‘super star’ to replace Lin Dan. I have also beaten Chong Wei but you must remember that there are many more players who are waiting in line.
“Lin Dan, Chong Wei, Taufik and Peter Gade all are ‘extraordinary” and there is still a lot to learn from their success,” said Chen Long who is currently badminton hottest property after winning the world championships in Copenhagen and the All England and now the Malaysian Open.
“Lin Dan and Chong Wei are still playing and at this stage I don’t think anyone can take their place just yet.”
On his match against Lin Dan he said: “I lost the first set but I was happy with my performance. On and off the drift did bother me. Once I settled down it gave me confidence.”
MEN’S SINGLES FINAL
Chen Long (Chn) beat Lin Dan (Chn) 20-22, 21-13, 21-11