GLASGOW, Scotland — Lin Dan stepped up a gear just in time to avoid an upset against Emil Holst of Denmark in the second round of the badminton world championships on Wednesday.
A day after his old rival Lee Chong Wei was beaten, Lin broke a 16-16 tie in the third game to prevail 19-21, 21-8, 21-16 in 81 minutes.
Also through were Chen Long, the defending two-time champion, Son Wan Ho of South Korea, the No. 1-ranked man, and Kidambi Srikanth, the dangerous Indian on a 12-match winning streak.
Lin, the five-time world champion who lost to Holst in March, seemed content to rally and move the Dane around. At 16-16, he burst ahead with smashes and moved on.
"He's tall and powerful and he gave me a lot of trouble," Lin said. "He beat me at the German Open, so I'm happy to reverse the result. Even though it was a long match, I should be OK for the next round since we prepared quite well."
Next for Lin is Rajiv Ouseph of England. They haven't met in five years.
Chen eliminated former worlds medalist Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia 21-13, 21-9, and Son advanced in 34 minutes to play Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, the Thai who beat Son in the Denmark Open final last October.
Get past Tanongsak and Son is on track to meet Kidambi in the quarterfinals.
Kidambi's teammate, Sai Praneeth, came from 18-12 down to beat Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia 21-19 in the third.
In women's play, leading seeds Carolina Marin, Sung Ji-hyun, Nozomi Okuhara, and Saina Nehwal advanced.
Marin, the Olympic and world champion, will play up-and-coming Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark, who took out the only singles seed to lose on day three, No. 10 Sayaka Sato of Japan.
Sung and Nehwal meet for the third time this year. They are 1-1.