SINGAPORE, April 10 (Xinhua) -- China's world No. 1 Li Xuerui struggled to make it to the quarterfinals of the Singapore Open on Thursday, while men's singles world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei won a quick victory against China's 24-year-old Chen Yuekun.
Li Xuerui lost the first set of her match 17-21 to Minatsu Mitani of Japan, and was once four points behind at 15-19 before she won six consecutive points to stage a dramatic turnaround.
"It was a narrow escape," Li said after the match. "I actually had opportunities in the first set but let it slip. Then the second set was actually more challenging as I was behind towards the end. Then of course, everybody wants to win when competing in sports. So I just tried my best and persevered. Fortunately I won. "
She then won the third set 21-12.
The match was reminiscent of All England Open where she stumbled across Mitani in a similar manner.
"When we came to the third set, I think she might be a bit frustrated when she lost the second set after being so close to a victory," Li said.
She is expected to face Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals.
Li's teammate, second-seeded Wang Yihan and young player Han Li both advanced through the second round.
Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, a 19-year-old player who beat Li Xuerui at the BWF World Championships final last year, also advanced to the quarterfinals after beating Japan's Sayaka Takahashi in two straight sets.
The third-seeded player has said that she wanted to taste victory again. She is expected to compete against China's Han Li on Friday.
Other players in the quarterfinals included South Korean players Bae Yeon Ju and Sung Ji Hyun.
Lee Chong Wei, world No. 1 in the men's singles over the past five years, won against Chen Yuekun of China in two straight sets.
The two-time Olympic silver medallist has said that he would persevere to compete again in the Olympic Games in 2016.
Gao Huan, another player from China, lost to South Korean player Lee Dong Keun 14-21, 21-8 and 18-21.
Du Pengyu, the fifth seeded player from China in the men's singles, won against Prannoy H.S. of India. He lost the second set but won the other two sets.
Some of the world's top ten players were absent in the men's singles this year.
In the men's doubles, Cai Yun/Lu Kai of China won against Japan 's eighth-seeded duo Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda 23-21 and 21-19 in a match that was much closer than the score might have indicated.
Cai, 34, has been the world's top men's doubles player with Fu Haifeng, but they have recently been separated to each team up with another player to groom the next generation of young players.
Lu Kai, 23, has been competing in both the men's doubles and mixed doubles, said he was learning a lot from his experienced teammate.
Cai said he is happy to be working together with Lu.
"It does not matter much whether we win or lose. It will be good so long as he can show the best of his sports at the match," he said.