BWF World Championships: Frenchman upsets Lee Chong Wei

France’s Brice Leverdez claimed the scalp of his career, beating Lee Chong Wei 21-19, 22-24, 21-17 in 75 minutes.

Brice Leverdez: "I managed to stay relaxed and played my own game."   -  AFP

 

France's Brice Leverdez pulled off the first shock of the badminton World Championships by defeating men's second seed Lee Chong Wei in three games in Glasgow on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old claimed the scalp of his career 21-19, 22-24, 21-17 in 75 minutes and perhaps ended Lee's elusive search for the world title which has seen him take three silver medals just as he has done in the Olympics.

"I'm really happy," he said.

"I managed to stay relaxed and played my own game."

Leverdez had two match points in the second game — 20-21 and 21-22 — and it was only a successful hawk eye challenge on the second match point that saved Lee from a straight games exit.

In the decider, the 34-year-old Malaysian led 15-10 — but the Frenchman wouldn't give in.

"I knew I was in trouble, but I never gave up," said Leverdez.

For Lee it was another chance gone. "I tried my best and he got lucky on a few points," said Lee, whose fourth win in the All-England Open this year suggested he was still capable of ending his world title drought.

"I'm very disappointed."

Defending champion Chen Long started his campaign with a convincing win over Georges Julien Paul from Mauritius. The Chinese fifth seed downed his opponent 21-7 21-9 in 29 minutes.

Taiwan's Chou Tien Chen survived a scare from England's Toby Penty before winning in three games while Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus lost to Chinese 10th seed Tian Houwei.

In the women's draw, Japanese top seed Akane Yamaguchi beat Denmark's Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt 21-6, 21-13 in 30 minutes while fourth-seeded Indian Pusarla Sindhu beat South Korea's Kim Hyo Min 21-16 21-14.

China's Sun Yu, seeded fifth, powered past unseeded Indonesian Lyanny Alessandra Mainaky 21-13, 21-9 in 47 minutes. She was joined in the second round by compatriot Chen Yufei.

Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon overcame Malaysia's Rui Chen Yap 21-12, 21-7 while China's Chen Xiaoxin defeated Canada's Michelle Li 21-13 27-25. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Neil Robinson