Axelsen and Chou early casualties in Singapore

Viktor Axelsen and Chou Tien Chen both suffered upset defeats in Wednesday’s opening round of the Singapore Open in Singapore City.

Third seed Axelsen came unstuck against Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent, going down 21-15, 21-15 in 37 minutes.

The Dane held a three-point lead midway through the first game and was 5-0 in front at the start of the second, but Wong was able to take control of both games when it mattered to seal the big win.

Axelsen admitted afterwards he was feeling drained after three weeks on the road in Asia.

Third seed Chou from Taipei, meanwhile, won the first game against Brice Leverdez but then found himself on the receiving end of a spirited fightback from the Frenchman, going down 17-21, 21-13, 21-17.

The rest of the top seeds all advanced safely, including Son Wan Ho, Angus Ng Ka Long, Shi Yuqi and Tanongsak Saensomboonsuuk.

There was also an upset in the women’s draw, as seventh seed Ratchanok Intanon – the defending champion – was beaten 21-8, 21-18 by Sayaka Sato.

“She had a good game, good speed, and good defence,” Intanon said afterwards. “In the second game, I (tried to) come back, but was not confident in myself, and the (points) gap was too far. I also had to take care of myself.”

Top seed Tai Tzu Ying enjoyed better fortunes. The Taipei shuttler is through to the second round after beating Nitchaon Jindapol, joining the likes of Akane Yamaguchi, PV Sindhu, Sung Ji Hyun and Carolina Marin.

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