Three-time world champion Lin Dan advised the 22-year-old Yihan to pick up the pieces and move on to become a world champion one day.
He said that Yihan should learn from her defeat against Eriko Hirose of Japan and not give up – although her form has dipped since winning the prestigious All-England title last year.
Her hopes of becoming a world champion were dashed at the 2009 series in Hyderabad when she lost to Juliane Schenk of Germany in the third round. She has also lost to young and unknown players in China during the local league.
Lin Dan then went on to explain how he rose from an unknown to become one of the greatest players ever to have graced the badminton court.
He said that in 2002, he used to be called Lin Yi Lun, after a popular Chinese singer.
Lin is similar to his name, Yi means first and Lun refers to round. And, at that time, the spiky-haired Lin Dan used to be beaten in the early rounds.
“It was a tough beginning for me too. I used to struggle to establish myself. But I continued to persevere and throw all my energy into training to become stronger – physically and mentally,” he said.
“Just a year later, I began to reap the rewards of my hard labour.
“I continued to build on my momentum from there. And now, I am called Super Dan. One should never give up.”
The 27-year-old Lin Dan said that Yihan had many good years ahead of her.
“Sometimes, painful defeats make one stronger. She is young and talented and there is still time for her to come back and dominate the women’s singles event.”