It's Lin versus Lee again, but the Malaysian wins this time

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Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei shake hands after the contest. [] 

Crowd favorites Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei set up an intriguing semi-final at the China Open here on Saturday when the former world No. 1 of Malaysia came from behind to beat "Super Dan" 2-1 after an breathtaking battle lasting for 91 minutes.

Lee, who hoped to reverse a sequence of five straight losses to Lin, overcame a first game slump at 17-21 and regained the momentum with more resolute smashes when opportunities came up, winning the close duel in two straight 21-19.

He will meet Lin's Chinese teammate and current world No.1 Chen Long on Sunday.

It was the first defeat of Lin, who is nicknamed "Super Dan" among his fans, against Lee since 2012. However, Lin still boasts a superior head-to-head record with 25 wins in their 35 meets.

Neither player appeared at their peak today. But they were still regarded as the iconic shuttlers of the sport with the "Lin vs Lee battle" tipped as the box office guarantee.

"I never beat Lin Dan in a competition in China before. Today I succeeded, and the victory is big boost for me," said the 33-year-old Lee, adding that he treated the match as the final to fight for.

Lin, who beat Lee always at big stage such as the London and Beijing Olympic finals, said he was satisfied with his form despite losing the match.

"It's a pity that when I took the lead in the first two games, I failed to seize the chances to win," said the 32-year-old Lin.

"When we played against each other, the quality of the match is always good. Today is no exception. We both played well," he added.

Though Lin is the home favorite, Lee also enjoyed a similar atmosphere. He received non-stop cheering and supports from Chinese fans, who seemed to appreciate the Malaysian more and more especially after watching so many classics between the duo.

"It's my home court. But you can see there are also many fans of Lee. I'm OK with that. I was not distracted at all," said Lin.

The China Open, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday, is one of the five Premier events with higher ranking points and prize money in the 12 legs of the BWF World Superseries.

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