Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia reacts during the men's singles semifinal match against Lin Dan of China at the Badminton Asia Championships 2017 in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, on April 29, 2017. Lin Dan won 2-0. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)
WUHAN, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Home favorite Lin Dan got past Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei rather comfortably with straight sets victory at the Badminton Asia Championships here on Saturday.
Lee beat Lin at the same stage in last year's event on his way to the title, but Lin has his tail up as he beat the Malaysian in their last clash at the Malaysia Open finals earlier this month.
Within 20 days, the most popular shuttlers in the world met each other again at the Badminton Asia Championships.
Lin had a surprisingly easy result over his old rivalry. He set up an early 12-6 lead in the opening set and then clinch it 21-13. Defending champion Lee continued to make mistakes in the second set, gifting Lin a 13-8 lead.
Fans in Wuhan Sports Center Stadium cheered for both of the shuttlers, but Lee still could not find back his rhythm, while Lin finished the 52-minute match by winning the second set 21-15.
"I think Lin was faster and in top form in today's match, while I was extremely passive," said Lee. "I cannot catch up with his rhythm and some of my hits are not so comfortab."
Lin said he made full preparations before this match. "No matter it is Olympics, World Championships or Grand Prix, as long as it is against Lee, I will spare no effort."
"I'm so proud that the match between Lee and me can always attract numerous attentions from fans and media around the world. We are now 34 and 35 years old, but we can still remain in the top level of men's singles. I think that needs more efforts from us."
Talking about the Tokyo Olympics, Lin thought it was too far away. "Currently the most important thing for me is to make a whole year or half year competition schedule. To avoid illness is also important."
Lin will take on teammate Chen Long in Sunday's final after the Rio Olympic champion eased past another Chinese shuttler Shi Yuqi 21-19, 21-15 in the semifinals.
In women's singles, Tai Tzu Ying had little trouble against Jang Mi Lee of South Korea 21-8, 21-16. The top seed from Chinese Taipei will face Japan's Akane Yamaguchi in the final after the second seed held firm in a tense finish to prevail over China's He Bingjiao 21-15, 21-19.
China was dominant in men's doubles with Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen and Huang Kaixiang/Wang Yilyu entered the final and pre-booked the gold and silver medals for the host.
In women's doubles, top seed Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi from Japan made a compelling statement beating Chang Ye Na/Lee So Hee of South Korea 21-14, 21-10. Another semifinals was won by Hye Rin Kim/Yoo Hae Won of South Korea, who defeated Huang Dongping/Li Yinhui of China 21-13, 21-17.
The mixed doubles final will see China's Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong against Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai as these two pairs took the semifinals with straight sets.