Second-set struggles floor Singapore's Yeo Jia Min in Thailand Open
Singapore's top female shuttler beaten by 18-year-old world No. 9 An in Bangkok
Singapore's top female shuttler Yeo Jia Min bemoaned her inability to switch strategies and be consistent as she exited the Toyota Thailand Open after a 21-15, 21-7 round-of-16 defeat by world No. 9 An Se-young yesterday.
The 26th-ranked Yeo managed to stay with the prodigious 18-year-old South Korean in the first set, but was blown away in the second in their 34-minute match at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.
Yeo, 21, told The New Paper: "My strategy was not working and I wanted to change (it) but I couldn't be consistent."
National singles coach Kelvin Ho added: "Jia Min played well in the first set and played correctly her choice of shots to prevent An from being able to play in her comfort zone...
"But in the second set, when the wind was an advantage to An, Jia Min's train of thought and decision-making needed to be clearer to make (a) better choice of shots."
An, who is the only teenager in the world's top 10, led 11-5 at the midway point of the first set.
Yeo fought back after that, but An still held on to lead 18-15.
The Singaporean then showed excellent defence to set up an opportunity to take the point and narrow the deficit to two points, but her attempted winner crashed into the net.
After that, An won the next two points and the set.
The second set was more one-sided as Yeo had no answer to her opponent, who led 20-5 at one stage.
Yeo had won once and lost once during their previous two meetings.
At the final of the Hyderabad Open in August 2019, she came back from a set down to beat An 12-21, 21-17, 21-19.
During the Badminton Asia Team Championships last February, the Singaporean took the first set but lost 15-21, 21-13, 21-16.
Yeo and the rest of the Singapore contingent are scheduled to fly home today, after Covid-19 tests, and will be undergoing a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
In March, Yeo and Singapore's top men's singles player Loh Kean Yew will continue their quest to qualify for the July 23-Aug 8 Tokyo Olympics by taking part in European tournaments, should they go ahead as planned.