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Yeo Jia Min outplayed by Japanese world No. 3

Singapore's Yeo Jia Min got off to a rough start in her Badminton World Federation World Tour Finals debut when she was beaten 21-11, 21-14 by Japan's world No. 3 Akane Yamaguchi in 34 minutes yesterday.

In their women's singles Group B opener at the Bali International Convention Centre, the Japanese displayed better shuttle control to put Yeo on the back foot. She never eased up against her 17th-ranked opponent to extend her head-to-head record against the Singaporean to 4-1.

In the other Group B match, South Korea's world No. 6 An Se-young similarly eased to a 21-16, 21-5 win over Thailand's world No. 12 Busanan Ongbamrungphan.

Yeo, 22, said: "I realised my body is a bit fatigued right now, while Akane was stronger and able to pressure me very well.

"I will need to forget about today's match and be mentally stronger for my next match."

She is playing her sixth tournament in seven weeks. She made the Hylo Open final in Germany and had two quarter-final finishes at the French Open and Indonesia Masters to jump 14 spots in the world rankings.

Yeo's fine run also led to her creating history as the first Singaporean to qualify for the US$1.5 million (S$2m) World Tour Finals.

In yesterday's World Championship draw, Yeo received a bye and will meet Scotland's world No. 21 Kristy Gilmour or Japan's world No. 22 Aya Ohori in the round of 32. Compatriot Loh Kean Yew will face Denmark's world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen in the opening round.


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