BIRMINGHAM, March 19: Chinese star Lin Dan was denied a seventh All-England Open title as his young compatriot Shi Yuqi clinched a shock victory in Sunday�s final.
Seventh seeded Shi profited from Lin�s lacklustre play to win 21-19, 16-21, 21-9 in Birmingham.
The surprising absence of Lin�s famed attacking skills helped Shi to grow in confidence.
The 22-year-old was able to utilise his speed and hard-to-read overhead attacks without inhibition against one of the sport�s all-time greats.
�I was more patient and controlled my pace, which helped me get the match back,� said Shi, who admitted he was relieved to erase the memory of last year�s final loss to Malaysia�s Lee Chong Wei.
Lin would have been the oldest player in 63 years to win the All-England men�s singles title had he prevailed.
But just when he had levelled the match with a burst of delicate drops and sliced smashes, he suddenly lost his rhythm.
�To (still) play at this level is good,� said Lin, 34.
Lin became the first player ever to play in 10 All-England men�s singles finals and made it the first all-Chinese men�s Open final for a decade. � AFP