Yeo Jia Min, Terry Hee, Jessica Tan win at Malaysia Open but Loh Kean Yew falters, Latest Team Singapore News - The New Paper
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Yeo Jia Min, Terry Hee, Jessica Tan win at Malaysia Open but Loh Kean Yew falters

Building on their strong end to 2023, Singapore’s Terry Hee and Jessica Tan continued their fine form with a comeback 15-21, 21-19, 21-12 win over Taiwanese world No. 12s Ye Hong-wei and Lee Chia-hsin in the first round of the season-opening Malaysia Open on Jan 9.

They will play Thailand’s world No. 20s Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran in the round of 16 on Jan 11, as they look to rack up more ranking points and tighten their grip on an Olympic spot. The world No. 22s occupy the 13th and final open berth for Paris 2024. Spots 14 to 16 are reserved for America, Africa and Oceania.

They won the Guwahati Masters before reaching the final at the Odisha Masters in December, and were keen to start 2024 on a victorious note at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

After losing the first game, they fought back from 17-12 and 19-17 down in the second game to take the match to a decider, which they won following a 19-6 run.

In the women’s singles, world No. 22 Yeo Jia Min beat Canada’s 24th-ranked Michelle Li 21-9, 21-14. Li had won three of their four previous meetings.

Li was making a comeback after knee surgery and Yeo cleverly stretched her around the court, exploiting her inability to retrieve shots in the short forehand corner to claim the win in 31 minutes.

In the round of 16, Yeo will be aiming to beat China’s world No. 8 Han Yue for only the second time in five encounters.

Men’s singles world No. 10 Loh Kean Yew, however, was unable to make it a perfect day for the Republic, as he lost 21-13, 21-15 to two-time defending champion and world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen.

After taking a 2-0 lead in the opener with some luck and quick reflexes, the 26-year-old was undone by unforced errors. Loh led 7-6 in the second game and put Axelsen under pressure with body shots, but the 30-year-old Dane was more consistent and pulled away for a convincing win.

Expressing disappointment, Loh said: “I need to continue to work on myself and hopefully things will get better.”

National singles head coach Kelvin Ho said Loh needs to be more consistent and have greater belief, and praised Yeo for having great follow-ups to her shots.

Loh Kean YewYeo Jia MinbadmintonOlympicsOLYMPICS 2024