Badminton: Olympic champ Li survives first-round scare in Japan Open
Published on Jun 11, 2014 4:55 PM
TOKYO (AFP) - China's Olympic badminton champion Li Xuerui survived a scare in the first round of the Japan Open on Wednesday, as she battled from behind to beat world junior champion Akane Yamaguchi.
Top-seeded Li, the world No. 1, needed 65 minutes to tame the Japanese high school girl, who won last year's women's title, 17-21, 21-19, 21-18.
The 21-year-old Li, competing for the first time in the Japan Open, allowed Akane to take a 20-12 lead after a 4-all tie in the first game. Li's fightback stopped at 17-20.
Yamaguchi, 17 years old and ranked 62nd in the world, who fought through the qualifying round on Tuesday, jumped to a 7-3 lead in the second game.
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