HYDERABAD, India — Dicky Palyama of the Netherlands pulled off an upset at the World badminton championships Monday, beating 11th-seeded Chinese Bao Chun Lai in the men’s singles opening round.
"There was no pressure on me and I played freely," Palyama said after posting a 21-18, 21-14 victory in 36 minutes.
"I knew Bao is a tough opponent, but my coach told me to keep cool. I knew I had a chance to win the match when I was leading in the second game."
Bao conceded he was not at his best.
"I didn’t play my best game," said the Chinese. "I don’t think I was on top of my game today. I could not find my rhythm."
Third-seeded Peter Gade of Denmark stormed into the second round with an emphatic 21-11, 21-16 victory over Valeriy Atrashchenkov of Ukraine.
"I was always in control of the match," said the 32-year-old Gade, looking for his first World title.
"Obviously, I am looking for the gold. I know the toughest opponent will be Chinese Lin Dan. It is good that at this age I am able to compete well."
Defending champion Lin proved too strong for unseeded Israeli Misha Zilberman, racing to a 21-9, 21-11 win in 23 minutes.
"I don’t consider myself as a favourite. I think Gade and (Malaysian) Lee Chong Wei are favourites," said Lin, aiming for his third successive title.
"Shuttles are coming a bit slow but one has to adapt to the conditions."
Lin and Gade are expected to clash in the quarter-finals.
Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia needed just 19 minutes to down American Shannon Pohl 21-4, 21-6 in the women’s singles opening round.
Belgium’s Lianne Tan, Susan Egelstaff of Scotland and Japanese Ai Goto also moved into the women’s singles second round with straight-game wins.