Badminton: Chen and Lin on collision course in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - World No. 1 Chen Long cruised again on Friday while his legendary compatriot Lin Dan survived a scare, but the Chinese shuttlers stayed on a collision course for the final of the Malaysia Open.

Chen notched another straight-game win, this time over Japan's Kento Momota in the quarterfinals, before Lin displayed his famed resilience to come back from a dropped first game against countryman Tian Houwei.

Chen, the reigning world champion, dominated Momota in a 21-16, 21-11 victory, stretching the Japanese all over the court with his baseline and net play.

Lin lost the first game of his quarterfinal 11-21 as the 23-year-old Tian seized the initiative from his slow-starting opponent with a series of forehand drives.

But Lin, 31, drew on his vast experience to take the next two games, 21-16, 21-13.

Lin, a five-time world champion and twice Olympic gold medallist, has yet to win the Malaysia Open, one of the only titles missing from his glittering trophy cabinet.

"I didn't play well in the first game and had to change my strategy in the second. If not, I would have lost," he said.

Chen will face his countryman Wang Zhengming in the semifinals while Lin takes on Denmark's Jan Jorgensen, who beat Hong Kong's Wei Nan 21-9, 21-15 in the quarters Friday.

Women's world No. 1 Saina Nehwal of India saw off China's Sun Yu 21-11, 18-21, 21-17 to set-up a last-four encounter against top seed Li Xuerui, who overcame teammate Wang Yihan 14-21, 21-15, 21-12.

Carolina Marin of Spain kept European hopes alive with a 21-12, 21-9 victory over Hong Kong qualifier Cheung Ngan Yi.

Marin will take on China's Wang Shixian in the other semifinal.

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