Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama registered an impressive win over legendary Chinese player Lin Dan to win the BWF World Tour Super 300 Korea Masters men's singles title. While the first game required extra points, the second game saw Tsuneyama cruising smoothly to record a 24-22, 21-12 win in 45 minutes.
The first game produced a tight contest where Tsuneyama's good shot-making was well-countered by the experience of Lin Dan who was able to make his Japanese opponent run around and work harder for points.
Tsuneyama's skill-based game is centered on hitting winners while Lin Dan likes to play long rallies. It was challenging for the 23-year old to deal with this style but he managed to raise his game up to the challenge. However, despite having a lead after the mid-game interval, Tsuneyama allowed the former World Champion to catch up with him.
The fact that Lin Dan is a shadow of the player he formerly was could be seen most clearly through the errors he was committing. These helped the cause of the Japanese player. Eventually, the two men were neck-and-neck and Lin Dan was the first to have a game point. But it was saved by a net shot by Tsuneyama which just crossed over. Then Kanta Tsuneyama got his game point and sealed it to go 1-0 up.
The second game saw Lin Dan unable to sustain his reasonably good show and Tsuneyama charged forward to get a good lead. The errors from the two-time Olympic gold medalist piled up and many of his winners were missing the line. Tsuneyama was making hay while the Sun shone and played some of those crisp shots which are his specialty.
After the mid-game interval in the second game, Kanta Tsuneyama was relentless and Lin Dan's retrieving abilities also seemed to desert him. The match was easily wrapped up and the Japanese lad won a World Tour event after a long time.
For Lin Dan, this performance would once again raise questions about his future. His last big title came in April and since then, he hasn't done much. It's hard to see him getting to next year's Olympics.