Badminton: Derek Wong knocked out of OUE Singapore Open in qualifying

Derek Wong (second from left), with national shuttlers during a pre-tournament press conference ahead of the OUE Singapore Open.
Derek Wong (second from left), with national shuttlers during a pre-tournament press conference ahead of the OUE Singapore Open.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Top national shuttler Derek Wong's OUE Singapore Open campaign has ended in qualifying.

He lost 14-21, 16-21 to Lin Yu-hsien of Chinese Taipei in the second round of qualifying and failed to make the main draw. Earlier, he had beaten Malaysia's Soo Teck Zhi 21-14, 21-14 in the first round.

Despite the loss, Wong did not show his disappointment as he exchanged smiles and words with his opponent as they walked off the court.

Said Wong, the world No. 60: "It seems like he knows how to play against my style of play. I gave him a lot of chances to attack me and he's a strong attacker. I tried to push him behind but I've no answer to counter his strengths. I went in with a lot of hope but I just couldn't make the cut.

"I'm losing out a lot in the front area, and that's what my coach and I have been working on, but we need more time."

It was not all disappointment in the Singapore camp. Grace Chua shone for the Republic when she produced two gutsy come-from-behind victories to move through to her first Superseries main draw appearance.

The 20-year-old squeaked past Indonesia's Hera Desi 17-21, 21-19, 21-18, before beating world No. 76 Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria 17-21, 21-9, 21-16 in qualifying.

It had been a surprising 24 hours for the young Singaporean shuttler, a reserve who found out only last night that she would be competing following compatriots Chen Jiayuan and Yeo Jia Min's late withdrawal due to injury.

A delighted Chua said: "I'm very excited and glad to be able to play in this competition. Actually, my goal was to qualify for the main draw. So being able to compete tomorrow is a bonus to me."

There were mixed results for the other Singaporean shuttlers in qualifying. Loh Kean Yew lost 18-21, 16-21 to Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Ai Ninna Tan also moved through to the second round of qualifying when her opponent Cheng Chi-ya of Chinese Taipei retired while down 10-11.