Malaysia great Lee Chong Wei takes on Chinese legend Lin Dan in the men's singles quarter-final of All England Open Badminton Championships at Birmingham Arena on Friday, March 16.
Ever since the draw for the prestigious World Tour Super 1000 was announced, quite a lot has been said about the clash between the two greats of the sport, who are on the twilight of their careers. Holder Chong Wei and six-time champion Lin have won 10 All England titles between them.
World number five Chong Wei reached the quarter-final stage of the tournament after beating Ygor Coelho of Brazil and Lee Dong Keun of South Korea in his first two rounds. While the 35-year-old did not break a sweat in the first round, he was stretched by his 27-year-old opponent Thursday, March 15.
The holder resisted a late charge from Dong-keun to clinch the match 21-6, 13-21, 21-18 in an hour and four minutes to set up a 40th clash with arch-rival Lin.
Meanwhile, the two-time Olympic champion has not dropped a game yet in the ongoing tournament but was tested by Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei in his second-round match.
Can Lin extend his dominance over Chong Wei?
The Super Dan, who last won the title in 2016, starts as favorite if his 27-12 head-to-head record over Chong Wei is to be considered. Apart from winning seven of their last 10 clashes, the world number eight has also defeated his higher-ranked opponent in their last two meetings (Malaysia Open and Badminton Asia Championships 2017).
Live stream and TV coverage details
India: TV - Star Sports; Live stream - Hotstar
Malaysia: TV - Astro Supersport 4; Live stream - Astro Go
Indonesia: Fox Sports
Thailand: True Visions
Hong Kong: iCable, PCCW
China: GDTV, LETV and China Table Tennis & Badminton Channel.
UK: TV: BBC; Live stream: BBC Sport Website
US: One World Sport
However, Lin struggled to reach the final stages of major tournaments ever since he reached the final of Glasgow world championships in 2017 while his nemesis went on to win the Hong Kong Open and finished as runner-up at the season-ending Dubai World Superseries Finals.
Both the players have acknowledged the importance of Saturday's quarter-final tie, which is likely to be one of the last few chapters of what has been the greatest rivalry of all time in the sport.
"I don't think there is another pair of opponents who have played against each other so many times. Tomorrow I will try my best to beat him," Lin was quoted as saying by BWF's official website.
"I can see it being a great match between me and Lin Dan. I hope I can play well and enjoy it." Chong Wei said.
Lin Dan vs Lee Chong Wei quarter-final start time
The quarter-final between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei will not start before 7pm local time, 11:30pm IST.