World champion Zhu Lin crashed out of the first round of the All-England Open championships, complaining of feeling too tired.
The seventh-seeded Chinese player was hardly in it after the first game of a 21-17, 21-11 defeat to her compatriot Jiang Yanjiao, in which she finished looking too lethargic to seriously contest the outcome. For a while, as she led 11-6 and 16-10, Zhu’s fine movement looked as though it might take her to a routine victory over a colleague still ranked outside the top 20.
But when that suddenly slowed, her ability to win points almost dried up altogether, and Jiang, finding clever angles with her left-handed attacks, took nine in a row.
That effectively sealed the first game, and from 6-6 in the second game Jiang took seven points in a row.
Her efforts in losing a long three-game final against Wang Yihan at the German Open in Mulheim only three days before may well have left her with insufficient time to recover.
World and Olympic champion Lin Dan breezed through the first round of the men’s tournament with a 21-13, 21-14 victory over dangerous Indian Anup Sridhar.
Former Olympic gold medalist Taufik Hidayat, All England titleholder Chen Jin and No. 1 seed Lee Chong Wei all, however, dropped sets on their way to round two.
Indonesia’s Taufik, seeded seventh, dropped a set against Taiwan’s Hsieh Yu-hsin but won 21-19, 15-21, 21-14.
Chen was also taken to three before ousting Japan’s Kenichi Tago 21-7 15-21 21-14.
World No.1 Lee lost the first set to China’s Lu Yi but eventually came through 19-21, 21-16, 21-11.
Collated results in the first round of the All-England Open championships on Wednesday:
Taufik Hidayat (Ina) bt Hsieh Yu Hsin (Taiwan) 21-19, 18-21, 21-14
Lee Yong-dae & Shin Baek-choel (S Kor) bt Fang Chieh-min & Lee Sheng-mu (Taiwan) 21-19, 21-18
Jang Ye-na & Kim Mi-young (S Kor) bt Chen Hsiao-huan & Cheng Shao-chieh (Taiwan) 21-18, 19-21, 21-13
Cheng Wen-hsing & Chien Yu-chin (Taiwan) bt Nitya Krishinda Maheswari & Greysia Polii (Ina) 19-21, 21-16, 21-15
Lee Yong-dae & Lee Hyo-jung (S Kor) bt Fang Chieh-min & Cheng Wen-hsing (Taiwan) 21-12, 15-21, 21-18
Nova Widianto & Liliyana Natsir (Ina) bt Hsieh Yu-hsin & Chien Yu-chin (Taiwan) 21-9, 21-15
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER