Zhou Mi, the world No. 2 who had been hoping to gain revenge on All-England champion Tine Rasmussen for a loss in Malaysia two months ago, won’t get the chance after a startling defeat on Thursday.
The Hong Kong player led 19-15 in the final game against Wang Yihan, a rising 21-year-old from China, and even held a match point at 21-20 before going down 21-19, 18-21, 23-21 in a controversially dramatic finish in the second round of the All-England championships.
Zhou looked as if she might have reached her second match point when she struck a shot which landed so close to the baseline that the line judge began to indicate as though the shuttle had been in, before apparently changing his mind and swinging his arms wide.
Zhou drew the umpire’s attention to this, but the “out” decision stood, and Wang capitalized by clinching the match in the next rally.
Wang will next play Xie Xingfang, the sixth seed, who beat Adrianti Firdasari of Indonesia.
Later, Rasmussen carried the defense of her title into the quarter-finals with a 21-12, 21-13 win over Larisa Griga of the Ukraine, but elsewhere there were three other seeding upsets.
Nanna Brosolat, a qualifier who recently broke into the top 50 for the first time, scored the finest win of her career by beating Pi Hongyan, the world No. 4.
Xu Huaiwen — the eighth seed from Germany — playing her last All-England before retirement lost to Malaysia’s Wong Pei Xian, while Hong Kong’s Yip Pui-yin overcame Wang Lin, the seventh seed from China, by 21-15, 24-26, 21-19.
The only surprise in the men’s singles was the departure of Indonesian fifth seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who injured his back while practising and withdrew.
This allowed Ville Lang of Finland a walk-over into a quarter-final with Lee Chong Wei, the top-seeded Malaysian, who beat Marc Zwiebler of Germany 21-18, 21-16.
In the women’s doubles, No. 1 seeds Cheng Wen-hsing and Chien Yu-chin from Taiwan beat Japan’s Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa 21-18, 21-16.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER