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Defending champion Shi reaches second round at All England Open

(Xinhua)    08:41, March 07, 2019

China's Shi Yuqi hits a return during the men's singles first round match against Denmark's Anders Antonsen at the All England Open Badminton Championships 2019 in Birmingham, Britain on March 6, 2019. Shi Yuqi won 2-0. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

BIRMINGHAM, England, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Defending champion Shi Yuqi of China beat Denmark's Anders Antonsen in the first round of the All England Open Badminton Championships here on Wednesday.

The second seed Shi, who upset six-time titlist Lin Dan in last year's final, needed 45 minutes to win 21-17, 21-16.

Two-time Olympic champion Lin, nicknamed Super Dan, survived a second-set scare to beat Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama 21-19, 14-21, 21-7.

"I hope to win the championship again this year," Shi said. "There is certainly some pressure as the defending champion but I will turn the pressure into motivating strength."

"I feel more confident after the first match."

Third seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei made a shock exit as he was beaten by China's Huang Yuxiang 21-14, 16-21, 24-22.

In the women's competition, third seed Chen Yufei breezed past Chinese teammate Han Yue 21-10, 21-14 and second seed Nozomi Okuhara defeated Gregoria Mariska Tungjung of Indonesia 21-17, 21-16.


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