China's Lin Dan gestures during the men's singles first round match against Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh at the BWF World Championships 2019 in Basel, Switzerland, Aug. 19, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)
BASEL, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- China's Lin Dan fought back from one set down to beat Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in the first round of the World Badminton Championships here on Monday.
The five-time world champion and twice Olympic winner took one hour and 18 minutes to beat the 36-year-old Nguyen, whose best feat in his career is a third-place finish at the 2013 worlds.
Lin, who is eight months younger than Nguyen, was completely outplayed in the first set, trailing 19-12 before dropping 21-16. He regained the form immediately, winning the second 21-12 and third 21-12.
"He played brilliantly," said Lin. "That brilliance could have helped him to beat anybody. I played him many times but this is the most difficult one."
Lin, who won his first world title in 2006, said he changed his tactics and those adjustment proved successful.
"Actually I always know that he is one of the best players in the world so I made full preparation for this match."
Arguably the all time great player in badminton history, Lin is bidding to qualify for his fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"Yes, I always feel the pressure, although I have played so many international competitions and won so many titles. If you want to qualify for the Olympics, you have to compete with your teammates. I want to play match by match and keep focused on every match."
Competing in his 12th World Championships, Lin will next take on the winner between H.S. Prannoy of India and Eetu Heino of Finland.