Britain's Hallam advances in Olympic badminton

Aug. 09, 2008, 12:41 p.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Britain's Tracey Hallam coasted to a straight-sets win over Hong Kong's Yip Pui Yin on Saturday in the first round of the Olympic badminton tournament.

Hallam, who is 14th in the world rankings, downed 12th-ranked Yip 21-15, 21-17 to advance to the second round to face Kristina Ludikova of the Czech Republic.

"I got the result I wanted," Hallam said. "Both sets were fairly close and it was just a matter of keeping my nerve and not worrying about the score."

The crowd at Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium was clearly pulling for Yip but that didn't bother Hallam, who is playing in her second Olympics and needed just 36 minutes to defeat her opponent.

"The crowd was pretty noisy at times but you've got to expect that," Hallam said. "I've played in China before so I knew what to expect."

Ludikova defeated Nigeria's Daniel Grace 21-13, 21-8 in an earlier match and will face Hallam on Sunday.

All the top-seeded players had a first-round bye.

China's Lin Dan has the top seed in the men's singles and will play his first match in the second round Monday against unseeded Ng Wei of Hong Kong. China's Xie Xingfang, the top-seeded woman, sees her first action Sunday against Taiwan's Cheng Shao-chieh.

China won three of five gold medals in Athens in 2004 and is expected to dominate the badminton tournament on home soil.

In earlier matches, South Korean Jun Jae-youn, 11th in the world rankings, cruised to a 21-15, 21-5 win over Poland's Kamila Augustyn.

Canada's Anna Rice defeated American Eva Lee 21-15, 19-21, 21-19 while Maria Kristen Yulianti of Indonesia rallied to defeat Juliane Schenk of Germany in three sets.

Yulianti dropped the first set but recovered for an 18-21, 21-13, 22-20 win over Schenk, setting up a second-round showdown with Spain's Yoana Martinez. Martinez was a 21-9, 21-16 winner over Australia's Erin Carroll.

Japan's Eriko Hirose defeated Iceland's Ragna Bjorg Ingolfsdottir 21-6, 19-7 after Ingolfsdottir was forced to retire in the second set when she twisted her left knee.

Larysa Gryga of Ukraine downed Italy's Agnese Allegrini 21-15, 21-11. Egypt's Hadia Hosny beat Mexico's Deyanira Angulo 21-18, 7-21, 21-14.

In men's first-round matches, Taiwan's Hsieh Yu-hsing coasted to a 21-16, 21-12 win over Iranian Kaveh Mehrabi; Przemyslaw Wacha of Poland defeated Estonia's Raul Must 21-14, 21-15; and Germany's Marc Zwiebler posted a 21-18, 18-21, 21-19 win over Ireland's Scott Evans.

Britain's Andrew Smith defeated Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic, 10-21, 21-12, 21-15.