Singapore: Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen made it through the Singapore Open second round when last week’s Malaysia Open champion, Lin Dan, retired at the end of first set of their first round encounter.
The 36-year-old Lin got off to a strong 6-0 start, before the umpire overruled the line judge and called Axelsen’s return in. This happened at least twice more and Lin Dan was clearly annoyed by how the umpire conducted the match.
The Dane led 20-13 when the 36-year-old Lin has decided to call it quits citing cramp.
“I am not being emotional. I’ve used up a lot of stamina during the Malaysian Open last week. I need to be cautious considering Sudirman Cup and Olympic Games qualification will start soon, and I do not want to risk of sustaining serious injury,” said Lin Dan.
Axelsen seemed to be very confused about Lin’s decision to withdraw.
“I don’t really know what to say. If he’s really injured, then I think it’s a shame and I wish him a quick recovery.”
“If he wasn’t injured and he was just angry with the line judge, then I feel like something is wrong and it shouldn’t happen.”
Viktor Axelsen will take on Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand next.
Last week’s Malaysia Open runner-up, Chen Long, also roared past Anders Antonsen of Denmark 21-14, 21-18 to set up a second round battle with Parupalli Kashyap of India.
Meanwhile, the men’s singles defending champion Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan defeated Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-18, 21-16 to set up second round clash with Jan Jorgensen of Denmark.
In women’s singles, No. 1 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan had to dig deep to see off Zhang Beiwen of USA 21-14, 10-21, 21-18 in the first round of Singapore Open that lasted 44 minutes.
Tai, who did not participate in the 2018 tournament, won the women’s singles title at the 2017 tournament and a silver medal at the 2010 and 2015 competitions, will play China’s Chen Xiaoxin who she lost to at last year’s Japan Open on Thursday.