Badminton: World No. 1 Chen Long avoids first-round exit in comeback win

World number one Chen Long of China in action against India's H. S. Prannoy during the first round of OUE Singapore Open.
World number one Chen Long of China in action against India's H. S. Prannoy during the first round of OUE Singapore Open. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - He had looked in danger of a shocking first-round exit, but world No. 1 badminton player Chen Long avoided being given the boot at the OUE Singapore Open on Wednesday.

The Chinese shuttler came from behind to beat India's H. S. Prannoy 18-21, 21-18, 21-19 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to open his campaign at the tournament.

Said the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, who played one of the day's first matches: "It was a very early start for me today, and I didn't play a very good match throughout. Made quite a lot of mistakes and probably would have been less laborious for me in the third game otherwise."

Chen, who a day earlier had set a modest target of making a first quarter-final at the Singapore event, will play two-time champion Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand in the next round.

Meanwhile, team-mate Lin Dan had a more straightforward victory against Indonesia's Ihsan Maulana Mustofa, emerging 21-16, 21-19.

This is the first time since 2011 that the two-time Olympic champion is competing in Singapore. He will play Indonesian Christie Jonatan next.

World No. 1 women's singles player Carolina Marin of Spain strolled through her opening match when she played Indonesia's Lindaweni Fanetri, beating her opponent 21-12, 21-9. The two-time world champion rolled her ankle slightly at 17-11 up in the first game, but carried on the rest of the match largely untroubled.

Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon beat Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan Yi 21-14, 21-10 while Japan's Nozomi Okuhara wasted no time against Indonesia's Yulia Yosephin Susanto, winning 21-5, 21-9.