Defending champion Lin Dan of China and top-seeded Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia won in straight sets on Monday to advance to the second round of the badminton world championships.
Third-seeded Lin beat Ali Shahhosseini of Iran 21-4, 21-10, while Lee cruised past Kevin Cordon of Guatemala 21-7, 21-11.
Lin seemed on his way to an easy victory after the first set but Shahhosseini fought back in the second and held Lin at 7-7 before the three-time world champion won eight straight points.
Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, Bao Chunlai of China, Misha Zilberman of Israel and Park Sung Hwan of South Korea also moved into the next round.
Former world champion Hidayat defeated Ola Fagbemi of Nigeria 21-10, 21-10, while the 10th-seeded Bao beat Chan Yan Kit of Hong Kong 21-11, 21-17.
The 13th-seeded Park ousted Derek Wong of Singapore 21-9, 21-18, and Zilberman had a walkover as the sixth-seeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia withdrew because of a back injury.
Lin and Lee the favourites at the championships. Lin is the only player in badminton history to have won three straight world titles but Lee, chasing his first world title, hopes to end Lin’s dominance.
Lee will next face compatriot Muhammad Hafiz Hashim who beat Tan Yuhan of Belgium 21-13, 21-15. Lee leads 5-2 on head-to-head and has won their last four matches.
Hidayat spent only 24 minutes on court but was not happy about his performance against the 122nd-ranked Fagbemi.
“It was not really good,” the fifth-seeded Hidayat said about his match. “It’s like this guy can win today. I hope I play better in the next game.”
In the women’s singles, Linda Zechiri of Bulgaria had a walkover after ninth-seeded Zhou Mi of Hong Kong pulled out because of a right knee injury.
The 12th-seeded Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong and 13th-seeded Ella Diehl of Russia also reached the second round.
Yip beat Frenchwoman Perrine Lebuhanic 21-18, 21-11, and Diehl defeated Jeanine Cicognini of Switzerland 21-15, 21-15.
Keywords: World badminton championships