Anders Antonsen made amends for a loss that has “haunted” him since last December, as he outplayed world champion Loh Kean Yew in the opening round of the YONEX All England.

The No.3 seed, playing his first match since losing in the semifinals of the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021 to Loh, had his revenge with a solid performance against the Singaporean, 21-15 18-21 21-13. The world champion, on his part, showed glimpses of his best form but couldn’t quite string it together, providing enough openings for the Dane to exploit.

“So far everything’s ok but there’s a barrier I need to overcome, and I need to overcome it on the court,” said Loh. “His shot quality was much better than mine and he kept up the pressure.”

Antonsen, who had spent the off-season focussing on building his strength, said he was pleased with his performance.

“Of course I needed to be prepared for his speed. The last time I played an international match was against Loh, so right back in action against him, it was fun to get another chance to defeat him. I was eager to get on court.

“I was trying to build myself physically during the last two months. It was a tough one to start against him, and I played a long three-game match against him, but I’m really happy to get this one back, it’s been haunting me quite a lot since the World Championships. That’s the truth – it’s been one of those matches that I’ve been eager to run back, so I was happy to get him right away.”

World champions and top seeds Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan fell rather tamely to unfancied Korean pair Jeong Na Eun/Kim Hye Jeong, 21-15 21-16.

While the Koreans played aggressively, the Chinese appeared well below their best, with Jia hampered by a strained thigh muscle, an injury that she’d sustained at last week’s German Open.

“Both of us were struggling, especially after German Open, and we haven’t recovered. My injury feels worse,” said Jia.

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