Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long was among the casualties as the All England Badminton Championships began in Birmingham.
The prestigious event, a Badminton World Federation World Tour 1000 competition, has been running since 1899 and is one of the most sought-after prizes in the sport.
China's Chen, a two-time winner, saw his hopes ended in round one at Arena Birmingham as he went down 21-15, 21-17 to Denmark's Rasmus Genke in the men's singles.
Third seed Chou Tien-chen of Chiese Taipei was another to exit as he lost 21-14, 16-21, 24-22 to China's Huang Yuxiang.
Japan's top seed Kento Momota, the reigning world champion, did make it through as he saw off Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand 21-13, 21-7.
Five-time winner Lin Dan of China, the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic champion, was beaten as he lost to Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama 19-21, 21-14, 21-7.
Second-seeded Chinese and defending All England champion Shi Yuqi did make it through, ousting Denmark's Anders Antonsen 21-17, 21-16.
In the women's draw, top seed Tai Tzu-ying beat Canada's Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Michelle Li 21-12, 21-15.
The Chinese Taipei player is bidding for a third All England title in a row.
Japan's second seed Nozomi Okuhara, the 2017 world champion, also progressed as she beat Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 21-17, 21-16.
India's fifth seed PV Sindhu was the big casualty as the BWF World Tour Finals winner lost 21-16, 20-22, 21-18 to South Korea's Sung Ji-hyun.
The competition continues tomorrow.