Defending champion Chen Long was ousted in the second round of the badminton All England Championships by Chinese teammate Xue Song 21-19, 21-17 on Thursday.
For the second straight day, the last singles match in the arena produced an eye-opener. Second-ranked Lee Chong Wei, a three-time champion, lost in straight sets late on Wednesday, followed by top-ranked Chen, who succumbed to a teammate familiar with his style.
Xue, who lost their only previous meeting on tour in the first round at the same event last year, controlled the early stages, letting Chen lead only briefly before closing the first game on his first game point.
Photo: Chuo Chia-ping, Taipei Times
Chen dictated more in the second, but from 13-11 ahead, the world champion had to rally to tie Xue on 17. Xue won the final four points and, at 30, was the lowest-ranked player in the quarter-finals.
The result meant Chen has not won in his past four tournaments, and the only former champion left in the men’s field was Lin Dan, who won the last of his five titles in 2012.
Lin beat Sho Sasaki of Japan 20-22, 21-6, 21-8 for the second time in two weeks, having also won in the German Open quarter-finals.
Lin set up a quarter-final with third-seeded Jan Jorgensen, the Dane who knocked him out in the quarter-finals of the world championships last year. That was Jorgensen’s third win over Lin in 10 matches.
The other quarters feature Superseries Finals winner Kento Momota of Japan against Tian Houwei of China; Marc Zwiebler of Germany against fellow unseeded player Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark; and Xue versus Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
In the women’s singles, seven of the top eight earned their seeded place in the quarter-finals, all enjoying straight-sets wins.
Only No. 5 Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea dropped out, beaten by Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan 21-13, 23-21. Tai’s reward was a matchup with second-ranked Saina Nehwal, against whom Tai has a 6-5 win-loss record, winning the past four.
Top-ranked Carolina Marin of Spain will have to beat fourth-ranked Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand for the first time in five matches to extend her title defense into the semi-finals.
Chinese teammates Li Xuerui and Wang Shixian, both former champions, face each other and the last semi sees 2009 winner Wang Yihan of China against Nozomi Okuhara, the Japanese who beat Wang in the final of the Superseries Finals last year.
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