Japan’s Kento Momota beat home favourite Lin Dan in the first round of the men’s singles event as action begun today at the Badminton World Federation Fuzhou China Open.
Coming from 14-18 down in the second game, the top seed and reigning world champion registered a 21-15, 23-21 in the last match on court at Fuzhou's Haixia Olympic Sport Center.
Double Olympic champion Lin failed to convert a game point at 21-20 to force a decider before Momota secured victory with three unanswered points.
It was the Japanese player's second straight victory over Lin, having ousted his rival in the Japan Open quarter-finals in September, and he now leads their head-to-head 2-1.
Awaiting him in the second round of the Super 750 World Tour competition is Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus, who defeated Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama 21-10, 21-11.
There was some cause for celebration for the home supporters today as reigning Olympic champion Chen Long maintained his recent resurgence with a 17-21, 21-12, 23-21 win over Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen after one hour and 47 minutes.
It sets up a second-round clash with Hsu Jen-hao after the Taiwanese overcame Israel’s Misha Zilberman 21-17, 21-13.
In the women’s singles event, leading contenders such as Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, India’s PV Sindhu and South Korea’s Sung Ji-hyun progressed to the second round.
They are seeking to capitalise on the absence of Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu-ying, who has dominated the category this season.
Third seed Sindhu beat Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya 21-13, 21-19, while seventh seed Okuhara defeated Canada’s Rachel Honderich 21-19, 21-9.
Sung, meanwhile, overcame Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol 21-19, 21-10.
Action in Fuzhou is due to continue tomorrow.
The event will run until Sunday (November 11).
The tournament is different to the higher-rated China Open, a Super 1000 event which was held this year in September.