Hesitation cost Singapore pair upset win over Chinese duo
They were just two points away from a famous victory over a higher-ranked opponent.
But Singapore's mixed doubles pair of Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han faltered at the end of their second-round OUE Singapore Open tie against China's Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong, and lost 17-21, 21-16, 22-20 yesterday.
On paper, the world No. 16 ranked Singaporeans were in for a tough fight against the Chinese world No. 2 duo.
But Hee and Tan surprised the 3,500-strong crowd at the Indoor Stadium by taking the first game 21-17. The Chinese tandem set up the rubber set, following their 21-16 win in the second set, but were at the brink of defeat when the Singaporeans led 19-15 in the deciding set.
"I felt that we were uncertain about our shots towards the last part because we wanted to win, that resulted in our hesitation because we wanted to do so many things that we ended up losing focus," said Tan, 23.
Despite exiting the US$350,000 ($489,000) Badminton World Federation SuperSeries tournament, Hee and Tan were satisfied with their showing, and looking forward to their next tournament.
Tan said: "We were not expecting ourselves to have such a close fight with Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong; we were just trying to put up a good fight.
"But we actually did better than our expectations, so we are quite satisfied."
Meanwhile, Spain's Carolina Marin and India's PV Sindhu set up a rematch of last year's women's singles Olympic final today, when both won their second-round matches yesterday.
World No. 2 Marin, the reigning Olympic champion, breezed past Taiwan's Lee Chia-hsin with a 21-7, 21-11 win, while world No. 5 Sindhu was made to work for her 19-21, 21-17, 21-8 win over Indonesia's Fitriani Fitriani.
On the rematch with Sindhu, Marin said: "I feel very good on court, but let's see tomorrow who is going to win?
"Of course I will do my best, it's going to be a really good game, a really tough game.
"But I will do my best and enjoy on court. I hope to do my best and get the game."
Meanwhile, women's singles world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying looked on course for her third win in as many tournaments this year, with a comfortable 21-11, 21-8 win over fellow Taiwanese player Chiang Mei-hui.
Tai said: "I think it's quite normal, nothing specifically good or bad (about my game today). I performed to my usual standards."