Fourth seed Saina Nehwal and six-seeded Juliane Schenk were shock casualties at the China Open in Shanghai Wednesday, where Dane ace Peter Gade battled all the way to avoid becoming a third victim.
India's Nehwal was upset by Korean Youn Joo Bae 15-21, 24-22, 21-15 in a match that lasted just over an hour, while Hong Kong shuttler Yip Pui Yin dispatched with sixth seed Juliane Schenk of Germany 21-18, 19-21, 25-23.
Schenk, apparently upset at a lineman's call, threw her racket to the floor and sat down on the court for nearly a minute, before going on to suffer her second straight first-round loss in a row.
In the men's singles, Denmark's fourth-seeded Peter Gade had to dig deep to win his qualifying round match in a fierce showdown against 23-year-old South Korean Ho Shon-Wan, 21-13, 20-22, 22-20.
It took Gade an hour and 22 minutes to finish off the young Korean he twice defeated before in straight sets in Indonesia and Japan.
After the match, Gade explained that his preparations for this week's $350,000 Shanghai tournament had suffered because of a build-up of fluid in his ankle, keeping him off the practice courts for two weeks earlier this month.
He said he picked up the Achilles tendon injury in May and it had been bothering him ever since.
"I'm a bit annoyed I couldn't finish (Shon) off in the second (set) and also in the third," Gade said, "but he was going very sharp and very close to the line at the end of the first set.
"But I'm very happy that I pulled through. It was a tough game. Tomorrow will be equal."
China's top-seeded men won their matches more easily, as second seed Chen Long dispatched with Kai Wen of Hong Kong 21-14, 21-18, while fifth seed Chen Jin beat Indonesia's Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka 21-15, 21-14.
Jin said he is eyeing Gade's fourth place world ranking since Federation rules would allow him to gain a third Olympic spot in the China team if he and teammates Lin Dan and Chen Long could finish in the world's top four in May.
"I won't allow myself to be tired. There's only a half a year before the Olympics so everyday I must be focused."
China's women also have London on their minds, as they compete in Shanghai.
First seed Wang Shixian of China said after her victory over Thailand's Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-7, 21-14 that she was focused on the narrow margin dividing her and her teammates, second-seed Wang Yihan and third-seed Wang Xi.
"The score for Olympics rankings is not much different from the persons who are below my scores so every match is very important. Also, my opponents play very consistently so there's pressure so I have to try my best," said Wang.