Tokyo: Fifth-seeded Lee Chong Wei, a six-time champion at Japan Open, and three-time champion Lin Dan, advanced to the second round of Japan Open despite surprising challenges in the opener.
Following his disappointingly early exit from the World Championships, Lee survived a first round scare against Vincent Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium late Wednesday, before coming back to win 21-15, 16-21, 21-17 in a one hour encounter. The former World No. 1 will play Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia next.
Seven seeded Lin Dan had himself narrowly avoided a first round exit when he needed three-sets to overcome Sourabh Verma of India 11-21, 21-15, 21-13 in 50 minutes to set up second round clash with qualifier Lee Dong Keun of Korea.
The newly crowned 2017 Korea Open champion Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia who has set his eyes on winning a back-to-back title at Japan Open, was knocked out of the Japan Open after a shock first-round defeat at the hands of Hong Kong’s Hu Yun, losing 16-21, 21-10, 13-21.
Meanwhile, Srikanth Kidambi of India kicked off his campaign at the Japan Open in fashion by defeating China’s Tian Houwei 21-15, 12-21, 21-11. Kidambi will play Hu Yun in the second round.