Related story: China to fight for the 10th Sudirman Cup in May
China's iconic badminton player Lin Dan aroused a thunderous ovation on Sunday as he helped the host's star-studded side beat Germany 5-0 on the opening day of the BWF Sudirman Cup.
Lin Dan, the world and Olympic champion, made it 2-0 for the defending champions after he eased past Marc Zwiebler in men's singles in two straight 21-11. Before him, Xu Chen/Ma Jin, the world No. 2 pair, won the opening mixed doubles over Michael Fuchs/Birgit Michels 21-16, 22-20.
"If you just looked at the points, you may find it easy to win. But in fact, it was very difficult in process as the opponent put his best efforts in," said Lin Dan, who has win all the major titles including two-time grand-slam triumph.
"I cannot be relaxed for each singe point. Instead, I need to perform in 100% form. The competition in our team is very fierce as there are many good young players. I need to convince everyone that I'm Ok to continue," added by the nicknamed "Super Dan", the 31-year-old veteran, aiming to compete in his fourth Olympics in Rio next year.
Chai Biao/Hong Wei sealed the tie in men's doubles under the best of five rule when Michael Fuchs/Johannes Schoettler retired due to injury with the Chinese leading 13-10 in the first game.
The top-ranked Li Xuerui met some challenge in the first game when she tied with Karin Schnaase at 17-17. The London Olympic champion then made no errors to win the game at 21-17 and rallied to beat the German 21-8 in the following, making it 4-0 for China.
"Though I know China has clinch the victory before my game, I still need to fight for each point. It's the team event. Each point and game is crucial," said Li Xuerui.
The newly-assembled Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang swept the tie 5-0 for China over Isabel Herttrich/Birgit Michels, 21-14, 21-14 in women's doubles.
The 14th edition of the tournament, slated from May 10-17, opened on Sunday to a full-throated reception from a packed arena at the Dongguan Sports and Cultural Center in Guangdong Province.
The Sudirman Cup is the World Team Badminton Championships, held every two years, and one of the most prestigious titles in the badminton sport.