Top seed Tai Tzu Ying has been eliminated from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) China Open after suffering a first-round defeat to home favourite Gao Fangjie in Changzhou today.
The Chinese Taipei player, the two-time reigning Asian champion and 2018 Asian Games gold medallist, lost 17-21, 16-21 against her unseeded opponent at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium in a tournament that is one of only three Super 1000 rated events on the BWF World Tour.
Gao is now due to face a second-round encounter with Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol, who beat China’s Cai Yanyan 21-14, 21-18 today.
Another seeded player knocked out of the women’s draw today was Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.
The fourth seed was beaten 21-9, 16-21, 16-21 by the United States’ Zhang Beiwen.
Sixth seeded-Spaniard Carolina Marín, the Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist, is safely through to round two thanks to a 21-13, 21-13 win over Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt.
She is joined by eighth seed Nozomi Okuhara, the 2017 world champion, after she overcame Canada’s Michelle Li 21-12, 21-13.
In the men’s singles event, China'second seed Shi Yuqi advanced to the second stage with a 23-21, 21-13 victory over Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto.
Other leading players through are world champion Kento Momota of Japan, courtesy of a 21-14, 21-12 triumph over France’s Brice Leverdez, and seventh seed Srikanth Kidambi of India, a 21-9, 21-19 victor at the expense of Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke.
Eighth seed Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong also booked his place in round two by defeating India's Prannoy Haseena Sunil Kumar 21-16, 21-12.
Action is due to continue tomorrow with the finals scheduled for Sunday (September 23).