Loh Kean Yew suffers narrow loss in Japan Open, to take break until October

Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew hits a return at the 2022 Japan Open in Osaka.
Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew hits a return at the 2022 Japan Open in Osaka. (PHOTO: Zhang Xiaoyu/Xinhua via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew suffered a narrow defeat by India's HS Prannoy in the last-16 of the Japan Open on Thursday (1 September).

The world No.7 was beaten 20-22, 19-21 by his veteran rival in 44 minutes at the Maruzen Intec Arena in Osaka.

Despite holding sizeable leads in both games - 18-11 in the first and 14-6 in the second - Loh was unable to prevent Prannoy from catching up and winning the match.

The 25-year-old had defeated China's Zhao Junpeng in the round of 32 on Tuesday.

Prannoy will next meet Taiwan's fourth seed Chou Tien-chen in the quarter-finals.

Loh had relinquished his men's singles world title last week in Tokyo, losing to eventual runner-up Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the round of 16.

Following his loss, Loh posted on his Facebook page that, with the defeat, he has concluded his 2021/22 badminton season, and will be taking a break until October's Denmark Open.

"It’s been a long tour - one filled with many lessons and opportunities. I’ll cherish the happy times and learn from the tough times to create better experiences for the future," he wrote.

"It’s time for me to take a break, to allow my body and mind to rest, recover and recharge."

Mixed doubles duo Terry Hee and Jessica Tan were also eliminated from the Japan Open, after losing to second-seeded Thais Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai 14-21, 13-21 in 33 minutes.

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