Chen, Lin storm into Malaysia quarterfinals

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 China's Lin Dan hits a return against H.S. Prannoy of India during their men's singles match at the 2015 Malaysia Open badminton championship in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

World No. 1 Chen Long continued his dominant form yesterday to breeze into the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open, joining his superstar Chinese compatriot Lin Dan.

Chen needed only 35 minutes to dispatch India's Parupalli Kashyap 21-10, 21-6, harrying his foe with deep forehand attacks and precise smashes.

"I played well today, but I'm not thinking that far ahead for now. I am just focusing on one match at a time," Chen said after the win.

Lin, a five-time world champ and twice Olympic gold medallist who is regarded by many as one of the greatest singles players ever, passed his first real test comfortably. Lin brushed aside India's H.S. Prannoy 21-15, 21-14 to keep his sights trained on the only title missing from his glittering career.

It was the first time Lin, the current world No. 3, broke a sweat in Kuala Lumpur. His first-round opponent Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia had to withdraw after just two points on Wednesday due to a back injury.

Lin dictated play almost at will, forcing Prannoy deep with his drives in the first game and stepping up the pace in the second with a series of forehand smashes.

"This was my first proper match of the tournament and I couldn't afford to take him lightly as Indian players are improving very fast," Lin said.

"I also can't preserve my energy for the next tie because in a premier tournament like this, every player will give you a tough game."

Lin, 31, has tasted success before in Kuala Lumpur, winning the World Championship here in 2007 and the Thomas Cup in 2010, but the Malaysia Open has remained elusive.

"I have won major championships here except this tournament. Hopefully that changes this time around," Lin said.

Denmark's Jan Jorgensen, the world No. 2, also waltzed into the final eight thanks to a 21-7, 21-10 win over Kenichi Tago of Japan.

In the women's singles, world No. 3 and top seed Li Xuerui edged rising Japanese star Akane Yamaguchi in a marathon encounter, 21-16, 10-21, 21-17. Spain's Carolina Marin celebrated her new world No. 2 ranking with a 21-15, 21-19 victory over Iris Wang of the United States.

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