Badminton: Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei reach second round at All England Open

China's Lin Dan at the men's singles first round of the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships on March 14, 2018.
China's Lin Dan at the men's singles first round of the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships on March 14, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

BIRMINGHAM (Xinhua) - China's Six-time winner Lin Dan beat Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus 21-19, 21-16 in the first round of the All England Open badminton championships here on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Lin, also a two-time Olympic champion, will next take on Wang Tzu-wei of Chinese Taipei before a potentially mouth-watering 40th showdown with Malaysian defending champion Lee Chong Wei in the quarter-finals.

The second seed Lee ousted Ygor Coelho of Brazil 21-15, 21-17 in the day's other match. He will next meet Lee Dong Keun of South Korea.

"I think this year there is a higher pace on the court so both of us had to spend a lot of time to get used to it," said Lin.

"But after that, I think both of us found our own rhythm to stay in the match. I think the All England means more to me than the World Championships and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week," Lin added.

Other action saw Lin's compatriot Chen Long, the Rio Olympic champion, defeat Qiao Bin 21-13, 21-11 in an all-Chinese affair. Another Chinese player Shi Yuqi, the defeated finalist last year, advanced with a 21-18, 21-19 victory over South Korea's Jeon Hyeok Jin.

In the women's singles, Canada's Michelle Li upset third seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, the runner-up in 2017, in three sets 21-15, 14-21, 21-19.

"I feel pretty good and I feel like I played pretty well today," said the world No. 17. "I was able to keep my nerves in control this time so I'm very happy.

"I played Ratchanok many times last year and I've never won a game off her so I think I was well prepared and I was just very focused and tried not to rush - I think that really helped," Li added.

Women's top seed Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei was tested by India's Saina Nehwal but eventually came out on top 21-14, 21-18.