March 09, ChannelNewsAsia

BIRMINGHAM, England : Hampered by a knee injury, China's defending champion Lin Dan failed in his bid for a fourth All-England men's singles title when he suffered a shock straight games defeat from compatriot Chen Jin in Sunday's final.

Chen, the world No.4, had never beaten world No.1 Lin in six previous meetings, but he completed the championship without dropping a game with a 22-20, 25-23 victory.

Having had three match points he finally won it on the fourth with a cross-court smash.

Lin suffered an injury to his left knee in training recently in Beijing, and he said: "It really hurt when I got up this morning and I couldn't jump or smash properly. I did think about pulling out when he got ahead in the second, but there were a lot of spectators and I wanted to keep playing for them.

"I am disappointed, but I am also pleased for Chen. He is a good friend and a team mate and he deserved the win today."

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photo: China's Chen Jin dives to the ground to reach for a shot, during his match against Lin Dan (CNA)