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. 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.

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