China’s Lin Dan made it through to the quarter-finals of the world championships Thursday, with arch rival Lee Chong Wei also booking a place. “Super Dan” made a shaky start against Malaysian Chong Wei Feng, who surged to a 7-2 lead in the first game of their third-round match.
Defending champion Lin, who had not been stretched in his first two matches, came under pressure from 15th seed Chong and was forced to dive around the court as his opponent found all the angles. Lin vented his frustration, talking to himself and hitting his head with his racket in the first game after he sent a shot wide.
The Olympic champion, who has been on the sidelines for the past year to spend time with his family and entered the tournament on a wildcard, eventually took the first game 22-20 after Chong saved two match points.
Fans are hoping for another classic showdown between 29-year-old Lin and world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who sealed a convincing 21-12, 21-7 win against 14th seed Wang Zhengming of China. Lee put in a powerful performance against a tenacious opponent.