Lin Dan of China competes against Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia during the men's singles semifinal at 2011 BWF World Superseries Premier in Shanghai, east China, on Nov. 26, 2011. Lin Dan won 2-1 and advanced to the final. [Xinhua/Zhang Chen]
Chinese "grand slam" winner Lin Dan once again blocked arch rival and world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia from entering the Superseries final stage with a come-from-behind victory Saturday in the China Open men's singles semifinals.
Lin broke the Malaysian's year-long Super Series winning streak last Saturday in the semis at the Hong Kong Open.
When Lee was 17-19 down in the opening set, he won four points in a row to take it at 21-19.
But Lin, cheered on by the crowd at the Yuan Sheng stadium, managed to win the next two games - 21-12 and 21-11 to reach the final.
"I played so many tournaments this year that my energy burned out a bit in the second and third games," said Lee, who lost his 18th meet against Lin. "But I'm satisfied with my performance today because I think I'm a lot better here than in Hong Kong."
Lin also paid tributes to Lee.
"The semifinal match against Lee means a lot more important to me. I don't know why but I am more eager to fight with all I have, when I met Lee in the games," said the southpaw.
Lin's comeback victory also assured China of the men's singles title as second seed and teammate Chen Long stopped Indonesian Simon Santoso's dream tournament earlier in the day with a hard-fought two-game win, 21-14, 21-14.
The unseeded Santoso had knocked out compatriot Taufik Hidayat and Danish veteran Peter Hoeg Gade en route to the semifinals.
Women's singles semifinals turned out to be a tough battle among Chinese shuttlers. Singapore, Denmark and French Open winner Wang Xin ousted Li Xuerui 15-21, 21-18, 23-21 before newly crowned Asian championship winner Wang Yihan upset Liu Xin 21-13, 19-21, 21-16.
Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark advanced to their fifth straight Superseries mixed doubles final, after outclassing Songphon Anugritayawon/Kunchala Voravichitchaikul of Thailand 21-18 and 21-14.
"We hope to play a good match again tomorrow, if it's (Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei of) China again like the last week in Hong Kong in the final," Pedersen told reporters in the mixed zone.
"We know we have to be 100 per cent ready if we want to win and of course we want it."
Asian Championships winner Zhang and Zhao defeated teammates Tao Jiaming/Xia Huan 21-18, 21-19.
Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark smashed South Korean's hopes of scooping men's doubles title as they ended a four-game losing streak against Jung Jae Sung/ Lee Yong Dae, with a 19-21, 23-21, 22-20 win.
Boe and Mogensen last beat Jung and Lee in January, 2010, but lost four times in a row from then on.
"We are almost as good as they are," said Boe, who entertained the audience by pointing his fingers straight into the air while dancing with the music. "We try to be hungry when we play against them cause we want to be the best."
The other South Korean duo Ko Sung Hyun and Yoo Yeon Seong cruised into the final by pulling off Japanese pair Naoki Kawamae/Shoji Sato, who were waived a bye from world No. 1 Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng of China in the quarterfinals, 21-12, 21-18.
In women's doubles, China has virtually secured the title as top-seeded Wang Xiaoli/ Yu Yang ousted Japanese third seeds Mizuki Fujii/Reika Kakiiwa 21-13, 21-14 to set up a final clash against teammates Tang Jinhua/ Xia Huan. Tang and Xia enjoyed a bye from fellow teammates Tian Qing/ Zhao Yunlei in the semifinals due to Tian's injury in her right knee.