Badminton: Second-seeded Wang out of Japan Open after falling to Japanese opponent

TOKYO (AFP) - China's former world badminton champion Wang Yihan crashed out in the second round of the Japan Open today at the hands of Japanese giant killer Sayaka Takahashi.

Second-seeded Wang, the 2011 world champion and runner-up to compatriot Li Xuerui at the 2012 London Olympics, lost 21-13, 21-16 in 38 minutes.

Takahashi, ranked 12th in the world, beat world No. 1 Li in the quarter-finals of the German Open last year.

"I went out feeling I had nothing to lose," said the 21-year-old Japanese who also upset Thailand's 2013 world champion Ratchanok Intanon at the 2013 and 2014 Asian championships.

"I still cannot believe it because (Wang) is a player with such an awesome record."

Wang, 26, gave up an early lead to be caught by Takahashi at 8-8 in the first game. The world No. 3 lost six straight points after trailing 13-15.

In the second game, Takahashi led all the way from 5-all and broke away to victory by losing only one point after 16-15.

It was their only second-ever encounter; Wang took the first one 2-1 at the 2013 Hong Kong Open.

Big names among the men coasted to the quarter-finals with world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia beating Germany's Marc Zwiebler 21-13, 28-26 in the second round.

China's second-seeded Chen Long whipped Hong Kong's Hu Yun 21-17, 21-15.