Sixth seed Lin Dan takes on compatriot Shi Yuqi in the Men's singles semi-final of 2017 All England Championships at Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday.
The six-time champion survived a marathon quarter-final match against Rio Olympic bronze medalist Viktor Axelsen yesterday. After being outplayed in the first game 8-21, Lin came back strongly to take the last two games 21-14, 21-15 in the match, which went on for an hour and nine minutes. On the other hand, world number 10 Shi just took 36 minutes to decimate Japan's Kazumasa Sakai 21-13, 21-14 in his last-eight outing.
Lin was out of action throughout the post-Olympic season in 2016 and only returned to competitive action at last week's German Open, in which he lost his Round of 16 clash to unseeded Danish shuttler Emil Holst. However, the 33-year-old has quashed all doubts regarding ability to compete at the highest level by coming up with a solid show in his title defense this year.
The Chinese legend, who is set for a possible final showdown with his arch-rival Lee Chong Wei on Sunday, will be confident of getting past Shi, especially after knocking out the reigning World Superseries champion yesterday.
On the other hand, Shi, who has not met Lin in the past, has been stunning big names, including the likes of Jan O Jorgensen (Denmark Open 2016), Tian Houwei and Lee Hyun II (French Open), in the recent past. The 21-year-old also won his maiden Superseries title in France last year and followed it up with a Grand Prix Gold title at the Bitburger Open.
While it will be an uphill task, Shi would want to build on his recent success and preventing Lin from meeting his familiar foe on Sunday is the best possible way to announce his arrival in the big league of badminton.
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China: LETV, GDTV
Thailand: True visions
Indonesia: Fox Sports
India: Star Sports
Australia: Fox Sports
Dubai: Dubai SPorts Channel
Hong Kong: iCable, PCCW
US: One World Sport