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Rediff.com  » Sports » Lin Dan sets up dream final with old rival

Lin Dan sets up dream final with old rival

March 13, 2011 08:11 IST

Four-times winner Lin Dan of China ended the brave run of Germany's Marc Zwiebler on Saturday to set up a repeat of the 2009 final he won against holder and world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.

Lin beat the giant-killing German 21-9, 16-21, 21-11 in the first semi-final while Chong Wei beat China's Chen Long 21-17, 21-13 in his semi.

"I think it's the final everyone wanted," Chong Wei told reporters ahead of Sunday's match.

Zwiebler's victims on his march to the last four included world champion Chen Jin but Olympic gold medallist Lin proved a bridge too far.

The Chinese was at his best in the first game with a classic mix of power and guile but the German fought back bravely in the second only for Lin to regain control early in the decider and go on to clinch a place in the final for a seventh time.

Zwiebler, 27 on Sunday, was generous in defeat, telling reporters after his career-best run: "It's been a great week for me. No excuses. He was the better player today but maybe next time I can win another game or two."

The German then headed for the airport to fly out for a holiday in Italy, twice postponed this week as he progressed in the tournament further than he had ever anticipated.

"I am looking forward to having some time to take a rest and realise what I've achieved this week," he said.

Chong Wei generally had too much in the locker for Chinese fifth seed Chen who admitted: "I didn't feel comfortable with his pace and he's got great defence."

The women's final will be between top seed Wang Shixian of China and unseeded Eriko Hirose, the first Japanese to reach the final since 1979.
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