Chinese player Lin Dan strikes back during a match on All-England Open championships in Birmingham, March 9. [Photo/Xinhua]
Badminton great Lin Dan eased into the All England Open semifinals by dispatching former Olympic and world champion Taufik Hidayat 21-18, 21-8 on Friday.
It was an eye-catching clash between the two Olympic champions in the men's singes, but the 2004 winner Taufik apparently couldn't find his peak form and energy again after recent years' low tides, losing to the 2008 titlist Lin in 21-18, 21-8.
"He played very well. It was the once familiar Taufik to me," said the 28-year-old Chinese.
While 30-year-old Taufik said: "I'm no longer young. Though losing the match, I enjoyed it, especially the first game."
Lin stayed on top of a tight first game until 17-17, when Hidayat netted twice. Another shuttle into the net by Hidayat conceded the 27-minute game, and when Lin reeled off a 9-0 lead to start.
The top-ranked Lee Chong Wei, seeking a third successive All England crown, routed Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia 21-9, 21-11 in 27 minutes.