SINGAPORE - A title triumph in Singapore will continue to elude Lin Dan, after the Chinese shuttler was booted out of the OUE Singapore Open on Saturday. He lost 21-10, 17-21, 22-20 to Indonesian veteran Sony Dwi Kuncoro, a qualifier at the event.
A sluggish start meant Lin had too much ground to make up for by the time he played with the kind of form that had given him two Olympic and five world titles.
Said Lin, who was not his chatty self after his loss: "I didn't do as well as I could have. I did better in the later part of the match, but I lost the first game too quickly. I took too long to get into my momentum."
Sony, meanwhile, could not hide his emotions after the win. The 2004 Olympic bronze medallist and two-time world championships medallist (2007, 2009), had endured a series of injuries -ranging from back, waist and wrist - in the last few years.
Now ranked world No. 56, he said: "It was such an awesome match. I won the first game easily, but the second and third games were much closer. I just told myself to concentrate.
"It's definitely a comeback for me. It's been a while."
The Indonesian will play South Korean Son Wan Ho for the men's title on Sunday.