BIRMINGHAM (Reuters) - Olympic champion Lin Dan and world champion Chen Long will meet for the first time in nearly two years at Superseries events on Saturday after the Chinese reached the All-England Championship semi-finals.
Fifth-seeded Lin took nearly an hour to beat Kento Momota of Japan 21-18, 21-19 on Friday while top seed Chen's one-sided 21-11, 21-11 win over Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan took 47 minutes.
Lin's victory means he is one match away from a ninth final appearance at the All-England event since 2004 as he bids for a sixth title, a record matched by only three other players.
After admitting being rusty during the early rounds, he had to be at his obdurate best against a quick-footed opponent.
Chen has never beaten Lin in their six meetings on the world tour since 2009 but the way he dismantled Chou, mixing a powerful array of forehand smashes with deft drops, suggests that record could be altered.
In the women's draw, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand had to retire after leaving her quarter-final in a wheelchair after suffering cramp.
Sun Yu of China had fought back from 11-5 down to lead 19-13 before Intanon fell awkwardly going for a backhand return.
She next plays India's third-seeded Saina Nehwal who beat China's Wang Yihan for the first time.