China on winning start at Sudirman Cup, Lee couldn't save Malaysia
Updated: 2013-05-20 10:18
Looking forward to winning a historical five-in-a-row Sudirman Cup, China opened with Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei's victory over Tarun Kona/Ashwini Ponnappa in mixed doubles event at 21-10, 21-13. The Chinese pair ranked third in the world while their opponents were 31st.
Cheng Long of China returns a shot against P. Kashyap of India during the 2013 Sudirman Cup world team badminton championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on May 19, 2013. [Photo/icpress.cn]
World No 2 Chen Long then beat Kashyap Parupalli 21-11, 21-9 in men's singles to extend China's overall lead to 2-0.
"I haven't played matches for three or four weeks after the Asian Championships. Though I started well today, I still got some pressure," said Chen. "After winning the first set, I was much released and the match became easier then."
In men's doubles, Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan suffered the test from Akshay Dewalkar/Pranaav Jerry Chopra. The Chinese pair came from behind to win the first set 25-23 and then sealed the win for China by winning the second set 21-18.
Wang Yihan, who was just awarded the BWF female player of 2012 on Sunday, beat Sindhu 19-21, 21-16 and 21-14. Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli took a quick victory over Ashwini Ponnappa/Pradnya Gadre in only 28 minutes with 21-18, 21-11.
China's trophy in 2011 tied its own record of winning four consecutive Sudirman Cups from 1995 to 2001. Winning this year's title will lead China to a historical fifth consecutive Sudirman Cup.
World's No 1 Lee Chong Wei used only 24 minutes to beat Yang Chih-Hsun of Chinese Taipei 21-8, 21-13, but still failed to save Malaysia as the host team lost to Chinese Taipei 2-3 and will fight against Germany for a berth of qualification on Tuesday.
In Sunday's other matches, Denmark defeated Singapore 4-1 in Group D while Thailand edged out Hong Kong, China, 3-2 at the last minute.
Monday's matches will see Indonesia play against India and Japan versus Singapore. South Korea will face the challenge from Hong Kong, China while Germany to meet Chinese Taipei in their opening group match.