World Champs: Top seed Tai powers into third round

The top women’s players in the world entered the fray at the BWF World Championships in Nanjing on Tuesday, including World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying.

The Taiwanese star has dominated the women’s game over the last 18 months, spending 67 consecutive weeks at the top of the world rankings since reaching the World No 1 spot in December 2016.

Having received a bye into the second round, the overwhelming favourite for the title started her campaign with a straightforward 21-10, 21-16 win over Australia’s Wendy Chen Hsuan-yu on Tuesday.

After racing through the first game, Tai’s opponent put up more of a fight in the second, but the 24-year-old Tai was able to pull away late in the game to seal the victory in 31 minutes.

Other winners on the day included two former World No 1s, seventh seeded Spaniard Carolina Marin and 10th seed Saina Nehwal of India.

Thai fourth seed Ratchanok Intanon was also in action, battling back from the brink to defeat Mia Blichfeldt 16-21, 22-20, 21-10 in a tense one-hour-and-16-minute battle.

It was a quiet day in the men’s draw, with the two top seeds who were due to be in action, Lee Chong Wei and Son Wan Ho, both withdrawing ahead of the tournament.

That meant that Chong Wei’s opponent Brice Leverdez, and Son’s challenger B. Sai Praneeth both received walkovers into the second round.

Other winners on the day included sixth seed Kento Momota of Japan, 12th seed Anthony Ginting of Indonesia and unseeded Malaysian Daren Liew, who knocked out 13th seed Jonatan Christie 21-12, 21-16.