Chen Long wins as Lin Dan crashes out of BWF French Open
Chinese badminton star Lin Dan bid a surprisingly early farewell to the 2018 BWF French Open after losing to Japan's Kazumasa Sakai in men's singles first round action on Wednesday.
Lin let slide a 21-9 win in the first game before conceding the next two 21-14, 21-14 to his Japanese opponent.
"It was not about my fitness, but the mentality," the 35-year-old Lin said after his defeat. "I conceded too many turnovers to earn my opponent points. In the first game, I heated up into the match quickly, while committing many unforced turnovers when I wanted to perform better in the next two games."
Lin failed to set up a second round clash with Japan's reigning world champion Kento Momota, who marched past Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei 21-19, 21-12.
Lin's teammate Chen Long powered past home favorite Brice Leverdez 21-11, 21-13.
The second game was displayed more fiercely at the start when the Frenchman took on high-quality smashes for 4-all, but the Chinese Olympic champion pulled away for an 11-8 lead at the changeover and never ceded his advantage later on.
"I didn't play the French Open as many times as other Opens, so I cherished every match here. I felt that I was quite concentrated today," said Chen.
Chen will next face Jorgensen of Denmark, who saw off another Chinese Huang Yuxiang 24-22, 21-17.