Singaporean badminton sensation Loh Kean Yew won in his first match of the year, emerging victorious over Canada’s Sheng Xiaodong 16-21, 21-4, 21-13.
Fresh from his Dec 19 World championship in Huelva, Spain, Loh is currently ranked 10th in the world, while Sheng is ranked at number 54 on the Badminton World Federation World Tour site.
At the India Open, however, Loh is seeded fifth.
His next match is against Malaysia’s Soong Joo Ven, who is currently ranked 70th in the world for men’s singles. The Malaysian player defeated Indian player, India’s Chirag Sen 21-8, 21-7 in the first match of the competition.
Loh defeated Sheng on Tuesday (Jan 11) at the India Open, which kicks off the 2022 BWF World Tour season.
After somewhat of a slow start in the first set, Loh, 24, won 10 consecutive points in the second set and then proceeded to trounce Sheng in the third in a match that lasted around 50 minutes.
“It’s a new start and I’m trying to start from zero again.
I think I played a bit slow and he was controlling the momentum and everything. In the second game I tried to overcome that by picking up the pace and it worked,” Loh said.
He also admitted that since his win in Spain, his schedule has been intense, and added that he hopes his game will improve.
“I haven’t had a break. It’s been busy. Hopefully, I can do better than today.”
Loh also said that he’s had to adjust to the pressures of being a world champion.
“I’ve always been an underdog. This is the first time I’ve played as a contender, so the pressure and expectations are something I need to learn to handle. I’m slowly learning. It’s a new beginning for me. I’m trying to learn as much as I can.
I will try to prepare myself as much as possible. Nobody can peak all the time and nobody can win all the time.”
At stake at the India Open, a BWF World Tour Super 500-level event is a total of US$400,000 (S$542,000) in prize money.
Loh’s brother, Kean Hean, is also playing at the India Open. Loh Kean Hean is currently ranked at 106 in the world for Men’s Doubles. His next match on Wednesday (Jan 12), together with Hee Yong Kai Terry, will be against India’s Krishna Prasad Garara and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala. /TISG
Follow us on Social Media
Send in your scoops to firstname.lastname@example.org