Singapore Badminton Open: Mixed doubles duo Terry Hee, Jessica Tan go down battling

Commonwealth Games champs not in good form of late, but showed spirit in defeat by higher-ranked opponents

Singapore mixed doubles duo Jessica Tan (left) and Terry Hee in action at the 2023 Sudirman Cup Finals in Suzhou, China.
Singapore mixed doubles duo Jessica Tan (left) and Terry Hee in action at the 2023 Sudirman Cup Finals in Suzhou, China. (PHOTO: STR/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — They are in the midst of a poor run of form and results, but reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallists Terry Hee and Jessica Tan showed at the KFF Singapore Badminton Open that they had not lost their battling qualities.

The husband-and-wife duo, ranked 25th in the world, faced a daunting match-up against Denmark's world No.13 duo of Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje in their opening round-of-32 tie at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Tuesday (6 June).

Despite being knocked out in the first round in their past two tournaments, Hee and Tan refused to back down, fighting hard against the Danes, before eventually succumbing 22-20, 13-21, 13-21 in 63 minutes.

During their training session on Monday, the duo admitted that this year has been a struggle, as they reached the round-of-16 stage in only three out of their past eight BWF Tour tournaments.

"We haven't been performing up to par in the past few months, and because our tournament schedule has been so tight, we haven't really been able to work extensively on our issues," Hee told Yahoo Southeast Asia on Monday.

"But I think the most important thing is that we are able to give the home fans a great performance. Rest assured that we will definitely give our 110 per cent."

Singapore's former world champion Loh Kean Yew will begin his campaign against Hong Kong's world No.14 Lee Cheuk Yiu on Wednesday. The world No.5 had recently defeated Lee for the first time in four tries, during the Badminton Asia Championships in Dubai in April.

Women's world No.1 survives tough battle with defending champ

In the women's singles competition, world No.1 Akane Yamaguchi needed over one hour before finally subduing the defending champion, India's former world No.2 Pusarla V. Sindhu, in possibly the most anticipated match-up in the round of 32.

The 25-year-old Japanese - who has already won three titles on the BWF Tour this year - started tentatively, as Sindhu took the first game 21-18. However, Yamaguchi finally found her groove in the second game, as she took care of the key points to clinch the second game 21-19.

The two-time defending world champion seized control in the third game, holding Sindhu at bay and eventually winning 21-17. Yamaguchi will next face Canada's Michelle Li, who defeated Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour 21-11, 21-15.

Former world No.1 Carolina Marin also went the full three games in her last-32 tie against Denmark's Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt, but she prevailed after a 65-minute battle, winning 16-21, 21-17, 21-12. The world No.6 Spaniard will next face either Thailand's Supanida Katethong or India's Aakarshi Kashyap.

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