Fuzhou: The two-time Olympic champion, and five-time world champion Lin Dan of China recovered from a set down to defeat compatriot Qiao Bin and kept his hope of a China Open crown alive in Fuzhou – while his nemesis Lee Chong Wei needed only 36 minutes to ease into the second round of China Open on Wednesday.
Lin Dan lost the opening set 11-21, but fought back to claim the final two 21-8, 21-16 to progress to the men’s second round. He will meet Brice Leverdez of France on Thursday.
“I was a little passive at the start, that’s why I ended up losing that game. I became more proactive in rallies and was fortunate enough to win the next two sets. I hope I could get better as the tournament goes along,” said Lin Dan after the match.
Lee Chong Wei was ecstatic on the other hand. He was playing superbly as he raced past Angus Ng Ka Long (who won the Bitburger Open title two weeks ago) in straight-sets, winning 21-10, 21-15. In a French Open final rematch, Lee is set to take on No. 6 seed Chou Tien Chen on Thursday after Lee swept past Chou three weeks ago in Paris to win his first Superseries title in more than a year.
The biggest upset of the day in Fuzhou came from Hu Yun of Hong Kong after he defeated Indian shuttler No. 5 seed Kidambi Srikanth 21-12, 21-18 in 38 minutes.
Wednesday was a day of mixed fortunes for the Malaysian camp, when independent men’s doubles pair Hoon Thien How/Lim Khim Wah fought a good fight in their opener, but were just not strong enough to topple No. 4 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, bowing out 16-21, 21-18, 13-21.
For all their stubbornness and resistance, Malaysian mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying ended the day on low note as the Malaysians lost to Reginald Lee Chun Hei and Chau Hoi Wah of Hong Kong 23-21, 18-21. Women’s doubles pair Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei were also handed the first round defeat by Chae Yoo Jung/Kim So Yeong of Korea.
Besides Lee Chong Wei, three of the bright spots for the Malaysian team came from Amelia Alicia Anscelly/Soong Fie Cho (women’s doubles), Tee Jing Yi (women’s singles), and Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (men’s doubles), all won their first-round matches at China Open on Wednesday.