Tine Baun is the European standard bearer as the Yonex All England Open Championships enter the quarter-final stage at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham tomorrow night.
The 2008 and 2010 champion from Denmark defeated Li Han 21-13 22-20 after a thrilling fightback from 19-16 down in the second game, recovering to win on her second match point.
The win prolonged Baun’s big badminton farewell as she will call time on her great career after this All England – and she was roared on by her predecessor and former world champion Camilla Martin.
Afterwards Baun said: “I felt very good on court and I felt that I could play all my shots. I was mentally prepared and I knew what to do. I was not afraid of her.”
“I was just happy to be on court and happy to buy myself one more day. Because if I lost it would have been OK. I would have lost to a very good, up and coming Chinese young player.”
“Every emotion was there and I wanted to show her that I wasn’t afraid and that I wanted to win. This is my last tournament and I will definitely take one match at a time.”
Baun is joined in the last eight by Germany’s fourth seed Juliane Schenk, who beat India’s Sindhu 21-17 21-14 but 2011 champion Wang Shixian, the Chinese sixth seed, and India’s Commonwealth gold medalist Saina Nehwal will contest the pick of the quarter-final clashes.
Baun was joined in the quarter-finals by team-mate Jan O Jorgensen, who defeated Sony Dwi Kuncoro to reach the last eight of the men’s singles when the Indonesian had to retire at 11-7 in the second.
But Jorgensen is the only European hope left in the men’s event and he now plays Chinese fifth seed Chen Jin, the 2008 champion.
Malaysia’s two-time champion Lee Chong Wei made up for his shaky first-round win by beating China’s Wang Zhengming 21-17 21-19.
The match of day three was the men’s doubles clash between top seeds and 2011 winners Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen, who were defeated by Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan 11-21 21-11 27-25.
On top of that second seeds Koo Kien Keat and Tan Ban Heong, the 2007 winners from Malaysia, also went out 21-17 21-18 against Maneepong Jangjeet and Nipitphon Puangpuapech of Thailand.
Britain’s last hope Robert Blair of Scotland and Malaysian partner Tan Bin Shen saw their bold run come to an end when they lost 17-21 21-13 21-14 to Japan fourth seeds Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa.