1. Top of the World at 19.
Before becoming a force to be reckoned with. Lin Dan was already climbing up the ranks in 2002. At the Malaysia Open 2002, he was already ranked World #2. That year he won the Korea Open, his first career title. He was giving top players like Taufik Hidayat, Wong Choong Hann, Hendrawan, Xia Xuanze some tough matches.
Then the end of 2003, Lin Dan won 3 back to back titles (German, Denmark, Hong Kong Open), which got him ranked World Number 1 in early 2004 at the age of just 21 years old. And Winning 5 big Open titles which includes the Prestigious All England Championship. Which is pretty rare these days.
2. Changing of Styles.
As we can see, in 2001-2004. Lin Dan was holding his racket grip a little too high. Probably is a habit he picked up in his junior year. Holding the racket grip really high, almost like a doubles player. Reduces his ability create steeper shots and angles.
After losing in the first round of the 2004 Olympic Games. In 2005 he made drastic changes in his racket grip. He only tapes the grip at bottom of the handle. Which forces him to grip the racket lower at the handle.
Throughout the years his style evolves, Lin Dan was known to have a ferocious and fast pace attacking game. But after the 2008 Olympics, he was more a complete player which gave him the ability to be more of a stroke player. He picks and chooses his shots wisely.
3. Until The End Of The World.
Lin Dan developed one of his most valuable assets, his perseverance and never give up attitude through his military training. Lin Dan was talent scouted by the People’s Liberation Army Sports Team after winning the National Junior Championships at the age of 12 years old. Lin Dan was a ranking officer until he left the military in 2015. Now he is open for more endorsement deals and opened for public events.
Throughout his career he has been sticking to his favorite quote “Fight until the End of the World” and he has that quote tattooed on his arms. It sounds simple, but if you noticed; he didn’t just fight until the end. He combined it with very good tactical mind warfare techniques such as delaying the game, create attention, breaking the rhythm of his opponent by switching shuttlecocks or deny switching.
And he is always spotted with the military salute after winning a match.
4. It’s Okay to Loose.
Lin Dan has been involved in quite a number of high profile losses, where most players would have given up or will be traumatized. One of the most notable loses, is at the Olympics 2004. Which he got knocked out in the first round by Singapore’s Ronald Susilo. After that loss, he came back stronger than ever. And winning the next Olympic Games in 2008.
In 2006, Malaysia Open. He was leading 20-13 against Lee Chong Wei in finals. Lee Chong Wei picked up and won the match. Most players will have their confidence shattered, but Lin Dan took the defeat in his stride or he won’t be the greatest player of all times.
In most recent times, Lin Dan still proves he has this attitude despite winning every Grand Slam Badminton titles multiple times. After his loss to his archrival Lee Chong Wei in semifinals match of the Olympic Games 2016. He came back winning the Malaysia Open 2017, beating Lee Chong Wei in the finals. With winning the Malaysia Open 2017, he completes his collection of winning all major Open tournaments.
5. Not to take part, it’s too take over.
Every time Lin Dan, steps in the court at a major tournament. You felt his presence that he is not there just to take part but to take over. At just 28 years old, Lin Dan has won all grand slams in the badminton world: Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup, Super Series Masters Finals, All England Open, Asian Games, and Asian Championships, becoming the first and only player to achieve this feat.
After winning the Malaysia Open 2017, he also became the only player to have won all major Open titles.
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