WUHAN, China, May 23 (Xinhua) -- "Super Dan" Lin Dan was made to sweat in front of the home crowd but defending champion China powered into semifinals of the Thomas Cup with a clean sweep over Malaysia here on Wednesday.
Malaysia's world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei had pulled out of the team championships after picking up an ankle injury in Tuesday's match against Gade.
Liew Daren, world No. 33, became the first singles of Malaysia in the quarter-final clash against China. "I feel nervous as Lee's replacement, but once I stand on the court, I think I should put out a fight," said the 25-year-old Liew.
He did it in the first set, coming from behind to level 17-all and scoring four points in a row to take the lead. "It's a surprise to win the first set, especially I lagged behind at the beginning," said Liew.
However, the four-time world champion Lin was unfazed by the early setback. In the next two sets, Lin played confidently and took an early lead to win the first match for China 17-21, 21-9, 21-5.
"Lee's withdrawal definitely affected Malaysia, but Liew is a young promising player," said Lin.
"I have made full preparation for possible difficulties, so I quickly made adjustment in the next two sets."
World No. 1 Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng enlarged China's lead by outclassing Malaysia's Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong 21-17, 21-18. Chen Long locked the victory for China after the world No. 3 cruised past Muhammad Hafiz Hashim 21-10, 21-11.
China will fight against Japan for a final berth on Thursday.
Japan claimed a hard-fought 3-2 victory over traditional powerhouse Indonesia in the quarter-finals.