Top badminton seeds survive scares at S'pore Open
World No. 1 Chen Long struggles with conditions but Lin Dan has an easier time
"Chen Long, don't play play ah, I will get a heart attack you know."
That plea in Mandarin made in half-jest by a fan yesterday gave an indication of how Chen Long's opening men's singles match in the OUE Singapore Open went yesterday.
In the end, the Chinese world No. 1 held his nerve to beat India's HS Prannoy 18-21, 21-18, 21-19 in 71 minutes at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
"I think next time I should just keep it simple and not speak too much before tournaments, otherwise I won't play well," said a visibly-relieved Chen Long, after the match.
"It was an early match for me today and I was not too familiar with the draught here, so I made quite a number of mistakes."
"I kept telling myself to be stable... this stadium is world-famous for its (windy) conditions; many top players have not won titles here before, so winning a match today is good for me," he added.
Spanish world No. 1 Carolina Marin also suffered a scare in her opening singles, although it was in totally different circumstances.
She beat Indonesia's Lindaweni Fanetri 21-12, 21-9 but it was not as straightforward as the scoreline suggested.
Marin, 22, was leading 17-11 in the first set when she rolled her left ankle.
Play was stopped for about five minutes before the 2014 and 2015 world champion returned to the court and eventually wrapped up the win with little fuss.
"Now it (my ankle) is a little painful, and I've got a chronic injury in my ankle and I have to be careful about that," said the Spaniard, who has been dealing with the flu since the Malaysia Open last week.
"I think the stadium here is much better than in Malaysia last week; you know you have to play with the draught, you have to control the shuttle even more and make sure you make fewer mistakes."
Two-time Olympic men's singles champion Lin Dan drew a crowd of about 500 when he beat Indonesia's Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 21-16, 21-19 in the morning.
The 32-year-old had earlier claimed he would be more motivated to perform if he was backed by strong support and after his routine win, he said: "It's been four years since I've been here and it's my first match in this tournament, so it's been okay so far.
"It's only Wednesday and there were so many fans, so I'm quite happy about that."
While Chen Long was unhappy with the draught in the Indoor Stadium, Lin Dan did not have any complaints.
The five-time world champion said: "The draught was not bad today; perhaps the tournament hasn't been that exciting for a few years now and the organisers have thus considered how to give the players the best playing conditions."
Men's singles world No. 5 Jan O Jorgensen was the most high-profile player to exit the tournament yesterday.
The Danish shuttler, who lost to eventual winner Lee Chong Wei in the Malaysia Open semi-finals last week, crashed out after a 21-16, 22-20 loss to Japan's Sho Sasaki.