New Delhi: The Danish organisers of the 2014 World Badminton Championships may have refused Lin Dan a wild card entry to defend his title, but the Chinese star remains the biggest draw on courts across the world.
The clock almost struck midnight on Tuesday, when Lin Dan took the court to play the fifth rubber for China in the Thomas Cup tie against Chinese Taipei.
Yet a couple of hundred fans remained seated and left only after the Chinese World and Olympic champion prevailed in three games.
That the Chinese Taipei player could win one game against Lin Dan came as a surprise.
Lin Dan has not lost a match at the international level since 2010 and his only defeat at the domestic level in recent years came against a Chinese youngster in the premier league of China.
Lin Dan made no secret of the fact that he was disappointed for not being able to play the World Championships.
Since he hardly plays the regular tournaments, his current ranking of 58 does not allow him to get a straight entry in the world meet.
“I wanted to play in the World Championships, but this is the format of the game.
“I am not arguing about that. I respect the format, but I think as a professional player, it’s not right to judge your success by just one World Championships.
“I just want to play my game… I want to finish within top eight in the world rankings by end of this year,” he said after the match.
There is however, a feeling that the 30-year-old five-time World champion and two-time Olympic champion could still go to Denmark as China are expected to sacrifice one of their top ranked player to accommodate the left-handed genius.
Asked about the upcoming Asian Games, Lin said: “I can’t say too much. I just want to focus on this week. I want to play my game.”
Lin Dan, however, said he was not happy with the world badminton federation’s (BWF) plan to change the scoring system.
“It has been changed quite a lot, from 9, 15 to 21, now changing back. I think this is not the best part of badminton to change the scores time and again,” he said.
“I don’t think making changes like this is good for the game.
“There is nothing wrong with the present system,” he added.
The BWF is mulling changing the scoring system to one of the three alternative systems — two games of 21, three games of 15 points and five games of nine points.