Sunday, 29 June 2014 | MYT 7:14 PM
Lin Dan on the way up with Australian Open win
Lin Dan celebrates after beating Indonesia's Simon Santoso in the Australian Open final. - AFP
KUALA LUMPUR: Superstar Lin Dan of China is set to break into the world’s top 10 after nailing his first Superseries title in two years.
At the Australian Open badminton championships in Sydney on Sunday, the former world No. 1 stormed back to beat Simon Santoso of Indonesia 22-24, 21-16, 21-7 in the men’s singles final.
Lin Dan, the five-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist, once again displayed his brilliant touches to secure the title in 75 minutes over the Singapore Open winner.
Lin Dan’s last Superseries title came at the 2012 All-England. He went on to win the world title in August in 2013 before deciding to cut down drastically on his appearances on the world circuit.
This year, the 30-year-old surprisingly appeared for the first time at the China Masters Grand Prix Gold in April. He promptly lifted the title. From a low ranking of 104th, Lin Dan is now ranked 22nd is set to be ranked in the top 10 following the win in Australia.
Rashid Sidek, the Malaysian national singles coach, believes Lin Dan is preparing to defend his title at the Asian Games in Incheon in September.
“He was out of the world’s top 100 a couple of months ago. Now, he is back in the top 10. He is really shaping up well for the Asian Games,” said Rashid.
“He is more matured now and shows a lot of patience in his game. And he is enjoying himself. His return is good for the sport. He is considered a living legend and his presence will lift the profile of the sport. He will also push the other players to lift their standard of play,” added Rashid.
Like Lin Dan, South Korea’s Lee Yong-dae also made a strong statement on his comeback.
On Sunday, Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-seong bagged their third straight Superseries title by beating Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin of Taiwan 21-14, 21-18 in the men’s doubles final. The Koreans were winners of the back-to-back Singapore and Indonesians Opens.
Yong-dae only returned to action in May after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) reduced his one-year ban for missing doping tests.