Chinese legend Lin Dan was dumped out of the first round of the China Open Superseries Premier on Wednesday, stunned by Indonesia’s world number 17 Jonatan Christie.
The 21-19, 21-16 defeat will ramp up speculation that the 34-year-old Lin, widely regarded as the best badminton player of all time, could call it quits as he approaches the end of his brilliant career.
Seeded third, Lin never found his rhythm in going down to Christie in 42 minutes, in a shock upset in the Chinese city of Fuzhou.
The 20-year-old Christie plays Hong Kong’s Angus Ng in the second round.
Lin’s great rival, the Malaysian Lee Chong Wei, had no such trouble in a 21-5, 21-7 demolition of Taiwan’s Hsu Jen-hao.