Singapore's final representatives left in the OUE Singapore Open, mixed doubles pair Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han, kept the local supporters who remained behind at the Singapore Indoor Stadium entertained and in anticipation of an upset. But it was not to be.
The duo went from leading 11-7 in the first set and 12-10 in the second to saving four match points - but were eventually pipped 16-21, 20-22 by Chinese pair Liu Yuchen and Tang Jinhua in an absorbing second-round encounter yesterday.
Although they ran their Chinese opponents close, they were not satisfied with their performance.
Said Hee, 20: "It's a decent performance but we could have done much better. When we were leading, we got impatient and tried to get more points, that cost us and allowed them to catch up.
"Maybe to everyone we played quite well, but there's still much room for improvement."
Tan, 22, added: "Even though the scores were not very far apart, we could have given them a harder fight."
Their exit, following the elimination of men's doubles pair Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Hendra Wijaya in an earlier second-round match, meant that no Singaporeans are left in the tournament.
Danny and Hendra lost 10-21, 10-21 to Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan.
Danny said: "The match today is for us to (see) where we stand in this world-class (field)."
The duo had entered just their fourth tournament together since they resurrected their partnership late last year. They had previously paired together in 2011.
Hendra, 30, said: "We need to communicate more and be steadier in our play."
Even though they are veterans in the team, the pair felt that there are many years still to play ahead of them.
Danny, 27, said: "At our age, we're still confident to go for the SEA Games (next year) and Commonwealth Games (in 2018). We can see that we can still improve and get better."