Lin Dan : Is this the beginning of the end?
For nearly a decade, the name Lin Dan was equivalent to 'Invincibility'.The man from Fujian province considered by many as the 'Greatest Singles Player to ever grace the court" ruled the badminton world in an unprecedented manner that saw him swoop nearly every possible title there is in the game of badminton.His arch-rival Datuk Lee Chong Wei even described himself to be unfortunate to born in the same era as of the Chinese shuttler.
Apart from his unparalleled success, Lin Dan also gave the Badminton world, what is called 'The Greatest Badminton ever played' when he clinched his first Olympic Gold destroying Lee Chong Wei 21-12,21-8. However, compared to those mesmerising performances over the years, the Lin Dan of 2015 is looking like a shadow of his former self. He began his 2015 campaign reaching the semifinals of the prestigious All England Open where he was dismantled by the reigning and the two times World Champion Chen Long in a manner never seen before.
Lin,then, participated for the first time in the Yonex Sunrise India Open where he saw his campaign end in a disappointing manner at the hands of Tommy Sugiarto.The following week,still in pursuit of his first Malaysian Open Title,Lin Dan managed to reach the finals of Maybank Malaysia Open where he was all set for the rematch of his All England's semi-final clash with Chen Long.
Lin began the match positively taking the first set 21-19 and just when it looked like the wait for the first Malaysian Open title was over,Chen managed to shift several gears up and left his senior compatriot in dust by winning the second and the third set 21-13,21-11 respectively. Lin's poor Superseries form hit an all-time low when he was consecutively eliminated in the first round of Australian Open Superseries and Indonesia Open Superseries Premier.
Lin Dan who is widely known as a ' Big game Player' was expected to be back in form for the 2015 Badminton World Championships, a tournament where he had just lost 2 matches in 9 Years.Lin was brilliant in his run to reach the quarterfinals where he was up against the World Number 2, Jan O Jorgensen.
Winning this match would have set up a dream semifinal clash for Lin against Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei. However, the match saw Jorgensen exposing Lin Dan's shortcomings to the maximum extent and the Dane destroyed the Five Time World Champion in two straight sets 21-12,21-15.This match clearly suggested the obvious decline in Lin Dan's game and perhaps indicating that time is up for a man who had an aura of invincibility throughout his career.