Singapore Open: Shock defeat for Olympic champions
Reigning Olympic badminton mixed doubles champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir suffered a shock loss in the first round of the OUE Singapore Open last night.
The Indonesian world No. 3 pair lost 21-14, 21-16 to Thailand's world No. 11 duo Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai at the Indoor Stadium.
"I didn't play well partly because of my injury. I had no time to recover and during the match, I was reluctant to take certain shots because of it," said Liliyana, 31, whose right knee was in bandage yesterday.
Tontowi, 29, added: "I didn't feel ready, and by the time I found my rhythm, the scores were too far to come back from."
The Indonesians were the biggest names to fall in the US$350,000 (S$491,000) tournament yesterday.
Singapore's mixed doubles pair of Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han were made to work for their 21-19, 22-20 win over Indonesia's Ronald Ronald and Melati Daeva Oktavianti.
"We were so far away (trailing 13-18 towards the end of the second set) so we had nothing to lose," said Hee, 21.
"We just tried to get more points but were preparing ourselves for the rubber set."
The world No. 15 pair will meet Chinese world No. 4 Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong, who won the All-England and India Open titles in recent months, in the second round tomorrow.
Tan, 23, said: "They have much more experience and definitely make fewer mistakes, so we have to be very patient as they would be the same."
Rising starlet Yeo Jia Min was the only Singaporean to make it to today's main draw from yesterday's qualifiers.
Despite feeling unwell, the 18-year-old women's singles player beat Indonesians Jesica Muljati and Lyanny Alessandra Mainaky.