Viktor Axelsen began his title defence in Birmingham with a win over Lee Cheuk Yiu ©Getty Images

Reigning Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen survived an early scare as he progressed to the men's singles second round at the All England Open Badminton Championships.

Axelsen, who has won the Super 1000 event twice including last year, fell to a first-set loss against Lee Cheuk Yiu at Arena Birmingham.

The Hong Konger pulled off a surprise 21-19 result in the opening period but could not hold out for the remainder.

The world number one Dane rallied back to win the following sets 21-15, 21-11.

"I'm feeling pretty satisfied about how I played in the last two games especially," said Axelsen, who is looking to appear in a fifth straight final.

"Lee Cheuk Yiu is a tough opponent and today was a tough game for me, but I'm happy I was able to step up and win comfortably in the second and third game.

"I tried to step up the pace a little bit and I tried to control the rallies a little bit more.

"I was playing a little bit too slow and a little bit too cautious in the first game.

"I managed to turn it around.

"I've been doing really well here for many years so hopefully I can do well again this week."

Last year's runner-up Lakshya Sen of India also advanced as he defeated fifth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-18, 21-9 in a hotly anticipated fixture.

The shock of the day came courtesy of China's Zhao Jun Peng who stunned eighth seed and 2021 world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore 21-16, 16-21, 21-7 in under an hour.

In the women's singles, 2019 individual champion Chen Yufei of China overcame a tough opening game against Michell Li.

The Canadian shuttler pushed her hard but Chen eventually prevailed 22-20, 21-14.

Yufei will play Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong next who knocked out two-time champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a rematch of the 2021 final.

It took Chochuwong just 36 minutes to triumph 21-11, 21-15.

The action is set to continue tomorrow with play starting at 10am local time as Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia takes on Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand.