China's "grand slam" winner Lin Dan ended the world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei's semifinals winning streak this season by a convincing win on Saturday at the Hong Kong Badminton Open while women's No. 1 ranked Wang Shixian of China was stopped by Denmark's veteran Tine Baun.
It was Lin's third win out of four clashes against the Malaysian this season, a comparatively easy one at 21-16, 21-14. In the Korean Open finals in January and the World Championships finals in August, it both took Lin three sets to beat the "super series king".
It was the first time that Lee failed to make the final in the competitions that he participated this season.
The top seed admitted that it was also one of the worst games he had played against Lin.
"It was so bad, too many mistakes," Lee told reporters after the match.
In fact, both of them suffered mistakes. For Lin, it was at the beginnings of each set, but for Lee, they came at more crucial parts of the game.
In each of the sets, Lin came from five to six points behind in the first half to overtake his long-time arch rival.
"Both of us haven't had enough rest and training since the world championships, so we have been playing really hard today," said Lin.
In the other semifinal, China's 5th seed Chen Jin outplayed his younger teammate Chen Long at 21-14, 21-18.
In the women's singles, Denmark's veteran Tine Baun upset the new world No. 1 Wang Shixian in three sets to prevent China from securing the gold and silver medals of the event.
It was the second consecutive win for Baun against Wang Shixian as the 32-year-old defeated the Chinese youngster also in the semifinals in the Singapore Open in June before she was stopped by China's Wang Xin in the final.
Wang Shixian said that she make many mistakes under the big pressure from Baun's sharp attacking.
She only managed to keep up with Baun in the late second set where she made an incredible comeback when trailing 16-9 to win at 21-19 while the Dane dominated the first and third set at 21-10 and 21-13.
"I kept my plan," said Baun. "Even though she caught back in the second, I was so confident that it was not because of me playing that bad, she just really stepped up without doing any mistakes."
Baun noted that it was a big success for her to beat the current world No. 1 and to be in the final again as she had been really down in the past few months due to small injuries.
She also admitted that the difficult conditions of the wind and dazzling light of the court gave her a bit favor against the Chinese.
"I think it is more difficult for them to play precisely. It helps me that I have chances to attack much more. If they can play all four corners really well, it will be really tough for me," said Baun.
In the other semifinal, the 3rd seed Wang Xin, who kept a 8-0 record against Baun, defeat world champion Wang Yihan at 21-12, 21-18.
Chinese women kept their domination in the doubles event as the top seeds Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang and second seeds Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei both won in straights to set up a sixth all-China final in the super series this season. In the previous 10 legs of the super series, China had won nine women's doubles gold medals out of nine tournaments where they competed.
Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang, the world champions, beat South Korea's 4th seeds Ha Jung Eun/Kim Min Jung at 21-18, 21-12 while Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei ousted Denmark's 8th seed Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl at 21-18, 21-13.
Men's doubles world champions Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng went through to the finals as compatriots Tao Jiaming/Zhang Nan pulled out of the game, stating it was due to injury.
South Korea's favorites Jung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae eased past teammates Ko Sung Hyun/Yoo Yeon Seong in 23 minutes at 21-10, 21-9.
The mixed doubles final will be taken between the newly crowned world champions Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei of China and Denmark's 3rd seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen.
Zhang/Zhao claimed an easy win against Chen Hung Lin/Cheng Wen Hsing of Chinese Taipei at 21-15, 21-12 in 27 minutes while the Danes upset China's 2nd seeds Xu Chen/Ma Jin at 21-16, 21-12.