World number one Chen Long’s bid to defend his world crown got off to a strong start Wednesday with the Chinese star dismissing Estonia’ Raul Must in Jakarta.
Top seed Chen, who was given an opening-round bye, defeated unseeded Must 21-15, 21-7, to breeze into the third round of the tournament.
Chen is expected to encounter little trouble until the quarter-finals, where he will likely face seventh-seeded Dane Viktor Axelsen.
Chen, who has already won four titles this season, wasn’t getting ahead of himself, however, and stressed he would take one match at a time.
“Today there are many good players,” the 26-year-old told reporters.
“They could all win. I will be focusing on playing well in each round.”
It seems a wise approach from the defending champion, who has faltered early in other tournaments this year against lesser-ranked opponents.
Five-time world champion Lin Dan marched onward in his campaign for a sixth crown, brushing aside 75th-ranked Daniel Paiola 21-14, 21-14.
But the fifth seed and two-time Olympic champion was surprised at the resistance he encountered playing the unseeded Brazilian, suggesting he was feeling his age.
“My physical condition is not like it used to be,” the 31-year-old told reporters.
“I did not think my opponent would be so difficult. He played better than I imagined.”
But for Paiola the opportunity just to play Lin, the superstar whose technique he had admired for years, was a career high.
“I don’t have words to describe it,” the 26-year-old said.
“It is my dream to play here in Indonesia and against Lin Dan.”
Unseeded Vietnamese Nguyen Tien Minh overpowered the 10th seed Indian Kashyap Parupalli 17-21, 21-13, 21-18.
His countryman, 11th seed H.S. Prannoy, was more fortunate, taking a place in the last 16 with a routine victory over Uganda’s Edwin Ekiring 21-14, 21-19.
He will face Axelsen on Thursday after the Dane cleaned up Polish shuttler Adrian Dziolko 21-13, 21-15.
The former junior world champion knew the moment he saw the draw that a third-round clash against Prannoy would be a tough prospect.
“He’s a tricky player,” he said. “I beat him in India earlier this year, so hopefully I can play well tomorrow.”
World number two Jan O. Jorgensen, Malaysian superstar Lee Chong Wei, Japanese young gun Kento Momota and women’s second seed Saina Nehwal all have their second round matches later on Wednesday.
Results on the third day of the badminton world championships in Jakarta on Wednesday (x denotes seeded player):
Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (THA) bt Derek Wong (SIN) 21-12, 21-14
H.S. Prannoy (IND x11) bt Edwin Ekiring (UGA) 21-14, 21-19
Chen Long (CHN x1) bt Raul Must (EST) 21-15, 21-7
Viktor Axelsen (DEN x7) bt Adrian Dziolko (POL) 21-13, 21-15
Nguyen Tien Minh (VIE) bt Kashyap Parupalli (IND x10) 17-21, 21-13, 21-18
Lin Dan (CHN x5) bt Daniel Paiola (BRA) 21-14, 21-14
Hu Yun (HKG x13) bt Michal Rogalski (POL) 21-18, 13-21, 21-13.
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (DEN x14) bt Adrian Dziolko (POL) 21-13, 21-15
Srikanth Kidambi (IND x3) bt Hsu Jen Hao (TPE) 21-14, 21-15
Zulfadli Zulkiffli (MAS) bt Scott Evans (IRL) 21-16, 21-13
Wei Nan (HKG) bt Tommy Sugiarto (INA x15) 26-24, 8-21, 22-20
Wang Yihan (CHN x6) bt Vu Thi Trang (VIE) 21-18, 17-21, 21-12
Lindaweni Fanetri (INA) bt Minatsu Mitani (JPN x13) 19-21, 21-14, 21-11
Michelle Li (CAN x12) bt Rong Schafer (USA) 21-13, 16-21, 21-11
– Agence France-Presse