Pressure, lack of confidence and rustiness were attributed by Lee Chong Wei in his hard fought three set win over Ville Lang in the opening match of the men's singles competition of the Olympic Games at the Wembley Arena tonight.
Chong Wei triumped at the end 21-8, 14-21, 21-11, but not before spending 47 minutes on the court after having to spend 80 minutes waiting for the match to get underway.
"I am under pressure and that is not something that I can control. It was a poor performance and I admit that I could not play my normal game at all," conceded Chong Wei.
"Never once did it cross my mind that I will lose this match but it was a good workout for me and I need to iron out certain aspects of my game."
The first set was a brewze for Chong Wei as he reeled off seven consecutive points from a 14-8 lead to finish off his opponent.
But it was in the second that his game went to tatters, from sending his smashes out to being outclassed by the Finnish player at the net.
Lang took the lead for the first time at 3-2, and from then on it was point for point until 7-7. But four unforced errors gave Lang a 11-7 advantage and he was gaining in confidence.
There was no looking back as Lang led 18-11 at one stage before wrapping up the second 21-14, and the Malaysian fans in the stands were stunned.
When the third set commenced, one could see the nervourness on the facial expression of Chong Wei, and Lang knew his opponent was in fragile mood.
Once again it was neck to neck until Chong Wei took the decisive point to lead 11-10 at the break. He then conceded one point before reeling off 10 points in a row to move into the second round where he plauys Simon Santoso of Indonesia.
"I last played him in December in the Super Series Finals but seven months is a long time. As I said past meetings count for nothing," said Chong Wei.