Chong Wei, Lin Dan win Hong Kong openers

Badminton legends Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan came through their first round matches unscathed at the Hong Kong Open in Kowloon on Wednesday.

Both players are currently going through a poor run of form, but managed to clear the first hurdle at this week’s World Superseries event well enough.

Malaysian ace Chong Wei looked in total control as he dispatched a dangerous opponent in Tian Houwei 21-9, 21-7.

Five-time world champion Lin had to work much harder for his victory over Thai qualifier Suppanyu Avihingsanon, coming from a game down to secure a 22-24, 21-11, 21-18 victory after one hour and seven minutes.

Elsewhere, top seed Viktor Axelsen was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an injured toe, handing his opponent Kazumasa Sakai a walkover.

The Dane confirmed his injury and withdrawal on Facebook.

Seventh seed Chou Tien Chen was also eliminated, going down 11-21, 22-20, 21-17 to Brice Leverdez.

Home favourite Angus Ng Ka Long and Wong Wing Ki Vincent both safely advanced, as did Chen Long, Son Wan Ho and Shi Yuqi.

There were no surprises in the women’s draw, with top seeds Tai Tzu Ying, PV Sindhu, Sung Ji Hyun and Carolina Marin all booking their spots in the second round.