Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia returns the shuttlecock during the men's singles first round match against Brice Leverdez of France at the BWF Badminton World Championships in Glasgow, Britain, Aug. 22, 2017. Lee lost 1-2. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)
Second seed Lee Chong Wei suffered a surprise defeat to Brice Leverdez of France in the first round of the badminton worlds on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old Malaysian, who finished second three times but never won the champion, lost 19-21, 24-22, 17-21 to the 31-year-old Frenchman, ranked 31st in the world.
"I just tried my best today," said Lee, who surrendered a 15-10 lead in the third game. "Pressure is normal. I didn't play well and I don't blame my game. I just made many simple mistakes."
When asked whether to fight for another world championships, he said, "I don't know."
Lee, also a three-time Olympic silver medalist, started this season with his fourth win in All England Open but lost to arch rival Lin Dan of China for two consecutive tournaments, the first in the final of Malaysia Open, and the second in semifinals of Asia Championships.
Leverdez won his only major world trophy at the 2013 Scottish Open. He will next take on the winner between Misha Zilberman of Israel and Zvonimir Durkinjak of Croatia.