CHINA'S badminton world No. 1 Chen Long was handed an early exit at the OUE Singapore Open on Thursday, losing 21-12, 17-21, 18-21 to Hong Kong's Hu Yun.
The result is a repeat of the last time Hu, the world No. 14, played Chen last year. Then, at the Japan Open, Hu also lost the first game but rallied to take the match eventually.
Despite the loss, Chen remained optimistic after the match. He said: "I don't think I was particularly fatigued today. The draught in this arena means chance is a greater factor in any match so I think the result is pretty normal."
The men's singles is now devoid of seeded players, after all seven seeds were handed defeats on Thursday.
World No. 2 Jan Jorgensen of Denmark was sent packing by India's H.S. Prannoy, who won the match 21-16, 21-8 in just over 30 minutes.
Third seed K. Srikanth of India lost 15-21, 20-22 to Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk.
Prannoy's team-mate, Kashyap Parupalli, took out the tournament's fourth seed, South Korean Son Wan Ho, 21-15, 22-20 to proceed into the quarter-finals.
Viktor Axelsen from Denmark, the fifth seed, was beaten by defending champion Simon Santoso of Indonesia 21-17, 16-21, 21-12. Santoso, a qualifier, had won the event last year as a qualifier. He plays Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk next.
Sixth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei was beaten 21-17, 21-15 by Japan's Kento Momota.
Seventh seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark also failed to survive his encounter with France's Brice Leverdez, going down 21-13, 19-21, 21-18.