French Open: Lee Chong Wei survives Viktor Axelsen scare, Koo/Tan exit

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Lee Chong Wei's defeat of Viktor Axelsen proves he still a major force in badminton.

Paris: Former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei survived a major scare in the second round of the French Open on Thursday, beating No. 7 seed Viktor Axelsen in 65 minutes.

Lee got off to a slow start in the first set, trailing for most of the game to go down 12-21.Lee Chong Wei's defeat of Viktor Axelsen proves he still a major force in badminton.

Axelsen was in sensational form going into the second set, leading at 11-7. Lee then recomposed himself and harnessed the momentum, surging to a commanding lead with 13-11 and withstood a bit of a bumpy finish to complete the second set 21-17.

Lee Chong Wei continued his dominant display of inspired badminton in the decider, notching up the third set 21-14, and will face Sho Sasaki on Friday. Sho Sasaki on the other hand defeated his younger compatriot No. 4 seed Kento Momota 15-21, 21-19, 21-19 in 68 minutes to advance to the quarter-finals.

H. S. Prannoy who dispatched Lin Dan yesterday, couldn’t repeat the performance against Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong on Thursday to eventually go down 15-21, 10-21.

In women’s singles, Maria Febe Kusumastuti of Indonesia outlasted Malaysian Tee Jing Yi in a 3-setter 17-21, 21-8, 21-14 to face No. 2 seed Carolina Marin in the quarter-finals. Carolina Marin fought through Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland in a sizzling women’s singles second round match, winning 21-15, 7-21, 21-16.

After defeated Sun Yu of China in the women’s singles first round, Nozomi Okuhara eased past No. 6 seed Chinese shuttler Wang Yihan on Thursday 21-13, 21-14, and will take on another Chinese player Wang Shixian next.

Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal who lost to Minatsu Mitani in the women’s singles second round at last week’s Denmark Open, exacted revenge over Mitani on Thursda with a 21-19, 21-16 victory.

Both Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia couldn’t continue their brilliance on Thursday, as they fought hard but the No. 5 seeds Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa were too strong for the Malaysian pair, winning 14-21, 21-19, 21-16 in 61 minutes. Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong also fell to Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang of Korea 11-21, 18-21 in the men’s doubles second round.

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