Hong Kong: Both badminton legends, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Lin Dan of China have reached the Hong Kong Open second round after contrasting wins in their openers.
The four-time Hong Kong Open winner and No. 8 seed Lee Chong Wei got his campaign back on track but there was a tough battle for Lin Dan of China as they edged closer to a semi-final meeting.
After being taken down by Hong Kong player Angus Ng Ka Long in the quarter-finals of China Open last Friday, Lee only needed 28 minutes to dismiss Tian Houwei of China 21-9, 21-7 in the first round of Hong Kong Open on Wednesday.
The Malaysian’s movement was much improved and he made far fewer unforced errors as he set up a last-16 clash with Wei Nan of Hong Kong. Wei Nan will be a tough nut to cracks as he had beaten Lee twice in their four career meetings.
As for Lin Dan, he looked a little shaky and had to recover from a set down to beat qualifier Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand 22-24, 21-11, 21-18 in 67 minutes. Lin will face local favorite and defending champion Angus Ng Ka Long in the second round.
“I think Ng is in good form. I had not play at Hong Kong Open for two years, is such a great feeling to receive support from the Hong Kong fans,” said Lin Dan.
Meanwhile, the top seed Viktor Axelsen was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an infection in his right little toe.
In women’s competition, top seeded players such as Tai Tzu Ying, PV Sindhu and Carolina Marin have all advanced to the second round.