LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – World and Olympic champion Lin Dan breezed through the first round of the All England tournament in Birmingham on Wednesday with a 21-13 21-14 victory over dangerous Indian Anup Sridhar.
Former Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat, All England titleholder Chen Jin and number one seed Lee Chong Wei all, however, dropped sets on their way to round two.
Second seed Lin was given a fright in the 2007 world championships by Sridhar, who stretched the Chinese all the way before yielding. The Indian also took a set off him in the first round of the All Englands in 2008.
There was to be no repeat this time, though, as Lin, seeking a fourth title in the tournament, rattled home in 31 minutes.
Earlier, Indonesia’s Taufik, seeded seventh and intent on a first All England crown at the age of 27, dropped a set against Taiwan’s unseeded Hsieh Yu Hsin but carried the day 21-19 15-21 21-14.
Chen, the surprise 2008 All England winner when he beat Lin in the final, was also taken to three before ousting Japan’s Kenichi Tago 21-7 15-21 21-14.
World number one Lee lost the first set to China’s Lu Yi but eventually came through 19-21 21-16 21-11.
In Thursday’s second round the Malaysian plays unseeded German Marc Zwiebler. Lin faces experienced compatriot Bao Chunlai.
There was disappointment for home fans when Nathan Robertson, winner of the mixed title with Gail Emms in 2005 and world champion in 2006, pulled out of the tournament suffering from a virus.