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'Super Dan' masters Hidayat again

Written by: Staff

DOHA, Dec 4 (Reuters) China's world number one Lin Dan picked up his second win in three days over badminton 'bad boy' Taufik Hidayat at the Asian Games today, then went some way to defusing their heated rivalry.

Lin drew first blood on Saturday with a convincing 3-0 win over the fiery Indonesian in the men's team group stage, and again put the Athens Olympic champion to the sword today with a 2-1 win in the team semis.

Hidayat, who was docked ranking points and prize money after storming out mid-match against Lin in August, stoked the flames of their simmering rivalry before the Games even started by describing Lin as ''arrogant''.

''It's been blown up by the media,'' said Lin, who gave Hidayat a friendly pat on the back after the match. ''Basically I don't really care.'' Hidayat's form has dipped since that explosive episode in Hong Kong but the 25-year-old, who has slipped down the world rankings to 12th, has shown signs of returning to his very best in Doha.

After losing the first set in a tiebreak, Hidayat stormed back to dominate the second 21-13 and looked poised to put Indonesia in the team final.

But Lin moved up a gear in the third set and closed out the match 21-12.

''I think he is performing very well at these Asian Games,'' added Lin. ''Hidayat kept playing hard right up until the end of the third set.'' Hidayat said he was feeling the strain of playing a series of tough matches in Doha.

''I think I need to change my tactics and talk to my coach,'' he said. ''I played well but Lin played very well today.'' The Indonesian was also reluctant to discuss his rivalry with Lin.

''I don't want to talk about him. The Chinese press is always talking about me.

''Why talk? I just want to play.'' Reuters DH RS2343

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