BIRMINGHAM, England, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Badminton fans got their wish at the All England Open on Saturday when Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan won their semifinals to set up a rematch between the two best men's singles players in the world.
Defending champion Lee Chong Wei bid to become the first Malaysian to win three men's singles titles in a row since Wong Pen Soon in 1952.
He defeated Lee Hyun Ill of South Korea 21-19, 21-18 and will now face Lin Dan in the final after the Chinese four-time champion and reigning world champion defeated Japan's Kenichi Tago 21-18, 21-17.
Lee Chong Wei beat Lin Dan in last year's final but lost to him in a titanic duel at the BWF World Championships final last August at Wembley.
"I don't like to think too much about the results. Many people always ask me about that, but I have already jump over that circle," said the second seed Lin, who has nearly collected all the major titles of the world's badminton events.
"Champion or not, it's not so that important. As you know, the matches with these great players of our times are less and less," added with emotion by Lin, who was given the nickname "big four" including the Danmark legend Peter Hoeg Gade, Indonesian Taufik Hidayat and Lee Chong Wei after their dominance of the sport in the past years.
But now, as Lin and Lee hinted that the 2012 London Games "might be" their last Olympic shows and the 35-year-old Gade had planned to retire in the end of this year, the four great talents' era was seemingly close to an end.
"Just cherish and enjoy the top matches. Wins and defeats are not the whole things of badminton."
In the other four-discipline semifinals, China showed their dominance of the sport and has booked tomorrow's two trophies in advance.
The top seed Wang Yihan and her teammate Li Xuerui will fight for the women's singles title after advancing respectively. While Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang and Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei will play against each other for the women's doubles.
In the men's doubles, China's world number one Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng will meet their old opponent Lee Yong Dae/Jung Jae Sung of South Korea in the final after easy victory over a Japan's pair with 21-10, 21-15.
Tomorrow's only final without Chinese players is the mixed doubles.
Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Juhl Laybourn flied the flag for Europe as the Denmark's 2010 world champions defeated second seeds and defending champions Xu Chen and Ma Jin 21-16, 21-18 to enter the final.
They are the sole European survivors so far in the six-day event, one of the five premier events of the BWF super series.