Birmingham: After World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei crashed out in shock All England defeat yesterday, World number one Chen Long of China slumped to a 19-21, 17-21 loss to compatriot Xue Song in the men’s singles second round of the prestigious badminton event on Thursday, while Lin Dan advanced with a tight victory.
Chen Long, who enjoyed a hassle-free passage to get past Kenta Nishimoto in his opening match yesterday, looked under-prepared against Xue Song, the World No. 30th player from China.
Xue Song stayed neck and neck with Chen Long in their battle for the quarter-finals before Xue broke away from Chen at 19-19 to take the first set 21-19. Xue had the upper hand in the second set when it came at the end of second set, where he snatched 4 consecutive points after 17-17 to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.
Xue will face Denmark rising star and No. 6 seed Viktor Axelsen on Friday.
Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan also survived a major scare in the second round of All England. Lin lost 22-20 to Japanese veteran Sho Shasaki 20-22 in the first set before he was able to take his opportunities to level up the match in the second set by winning 21-6.
Lin then dominated the decider, hitting a lot of killer shots to crush his Japanese opponent 21-8 and sealed a place in the last eight.
Lin will clash with No. 3 seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark, who outlasted Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long Angus 21-13, 21-16 on Thursday.
In the women’s singles competition, Carolina Marin gave her best performance against Indonesia’s Maria Febe Kusumastuti by claiming the opening game 21-17 before wrapping up an impressive 21-7 second set.
“I played better today than yesterday, and I am happy with my performance,” said Marin.
Marin will play Thailand’s sixth seed Ratchanok Intanon on Friday after the Thailand’s No. 1 player defeated Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-9, 21-13.
Meanwhile, women’s singles second seed Saina Nehwal of India also made it to the quarter-finals after she knocked off Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungphan 21-16, 21-9. Nehwal will play Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan next.