Singapore's top female shuttler Yeo Jia Min will head into next week's World Championships on a high after winning the Hyderabad Open women's singles title yesterday.
Competing at the G.M.C. Balayogi SATS Indoor Stadium, top seed and world No. 30 Yeo overcame a 15-minute delay in the first set due to a blackout and clawed back from one set down to beat South Korea's An Se-young (No. 32) 12-21, 21-17, 21-19 in 73 minutes.
This is Yeo's third title on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) circuit, following Vietnam Open wins in 2016 and 2018. The 20-year-old was formerly ranked No. 1 in the world junior rankings.
Victory in the sixth-tier BWF Tour Super 100 event should improve her world ranking and strengthen her place in the top 34 singles qualifiers in the Race to Tokyo ranking before the qualifying period for the Olympics ends next April.
Yeo, who picked up the US$5,625 (S$7,800) winner's cheque, said: "When I was one set down, I focused on what I could do and continued to fight. I tried to be patient and avoid making simple errors.
"I played a few rubber games this tournament, but I did not have any problems physically.
"Leading up to Tokyo 2020, I have been trying to improve myself in every game. This win will give me more confidence and motivation for the next tournament. My target at the World Championships is to upset the seeded players."
Loh Kean Yew almost made it a Singaporean double but fell short at the last hurdle when he lost 13-21, 21-14, 16-21 to home favourite Sourabh Verma in the men's singles final in front of a partisan home crowd.
The Singaporean world No. 41 got off to a poor start as he lost the first set and was down 8-1 in the next before fighting back to claim the second set 21-14.
However, after leading 10-8 in the decider, the 22-year-old ran out of steam, succumbing to the Indian world No. 44 to settle for the silver medal and a US$2,850 cheque.
Loh said: "My results this year have been the best in my career so far. It will be my first World Championships next week. I'm nervous because there are many top players there but it is also exciting and I want to give my best."