World No. 1 Lin Dan of China showed some weakness on Thursday before rallying to beat Malaysia's Mohammad Roslin Hashim at the Japan Open badminton tournament and earn a spot in the quarter-finals.
Lin, the top seed and two-time defending champion, made several errors in the second game but steadied himself to hold on for a 21-11, 18-21, 21-11 win over the Malaysian, who won in 2001.
"I made a big mistake," Lin said. "Roslin increased the speed in the second game and I couldn't cope with the change. But in the third game, I tried not to make an error and played well against his speed, and I won it comfortably. He just tried to take a chance on my mistakes in the second game."
In the quarter-finals, Lin will meet sixth-seeded Peter Gade of Denmark, a two-time winner in 1998 and 1999, who kept his title hopes alive by beating Wei Ng of Hong Kong, 21-9, 21-18.
Gade also made some uncharacteristic errors at the beginning of the second game, but soon shifted his game into high gear to win in just 43 minutes.
Athens Olympic gold medalist Taufik Hidayat joined Lin and Gade, fellow Indonesian Simon Santoso, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Chen Jin of China in the quarter-finals.
In the women's singles, China's Xie Xingfang overwhelmed Wong Mew Choo 21-18, 21-15 to avenge her loss at the world championships last month, where her hopes of defending her title were dashed by the Malaysian.
Xie joined defending champion Zhang Ning and Lu Lan of China, Pi Hongyan of France, Wang Chen of Hong Kong, Jun Jae-Youn of South Korea and Tine Rasmussen of Denmark in the quarter-finals.
Asian Games gold medalist Yip Pui-yin of Hong Kong, who shocked world champion Zhu Lin of China on Wednesday, beat Xing Aiying of Singapore, 21-12, 21-15.
"I gained confidence by beating the world champion yesterday. I felt the shuttle was quicker than yesterday and I was able to play my aggressive game better than I did yesterday," Yip said.
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