Winning All-England starts for Chou, Sindhu

LONDON • Men's singles top seed Chou Tien-chen survived a match point yesterday to earn his place in the quarter-finals of badminton's All-England Open in Birmingham.

The Chinese Taipei world No. 2 eventually prevailed 19-21, 26-24, 21-13 in 1hr 22min over Japanese Kanta Tsuneyama.

On Wednesday, India's women's world champion P.V. Sindhu made a winning start in her bid for a maiden All England crown.

She defeated former Singapore player Zhang Beiwen 21-14, 21-17 to improve their head-to-head to 6-4. She lost to the 29-year-old American at last year's Korea Open soon after winning her world crown.

The second game was locked at 16-16 but the world No. 6 won five points in a row for victory.

The US$1.1 million (S$1.55 million) BWF World tour event offers 12,000 ranking points to the winner and, with Olympic qualification on the line, many top players are in action this week despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Sindhu, who started competing in 2012 and won the silver medal in her first Games at Rio 2016, is almost assured of a spot in Tokyo.

Singapore's only All England representative, Yeo Jia Min, was defeated by Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 21-12, 21-17.

Chen Yufei of China made a successful start to her title defence after coming from behind to beat 18-year-old world No. 9 An Se-young 14-21, 21-14, 21-15.

In the men's draw, two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, fighting for a fifth appearance at the Games, edged out young Thai hopeful Kunlavut Vitidsarn 13-21, 22-20 and 21-10 in the opening round.

Sindhu played South Korea's Sung Ji-hyun, while Lin faced fellow Chinese Chen Long yesterday, the results of which were not available at press time.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2020, with the headline 'Winning All-England starts for Chou, Sindhu'. Print Edition | Subscribe