ODENSE: It was heartbreak again for Datuk Lee Chong Wei as he bowed out of the Danisa Denmark Open on Thursday (Oct 19) night.
The world No. 7 had hoped to celebrate his 35th birthday in grand style but lost to H.S. Prannoy of India 17-21, 21-11, 19-21 in the men’s singles second round at the Odense Sports Park.
It is the shuttler’s second defeat to the 25-year-old Prannoy this year. He also lost to the world No. 14 at the Indonesian Open.
“I had hoped for a better outing here but it’s another disappointment,” said Lee, whose birthday is on Saturday (Oct 21).
At last year’s Denmark Open, Lee was send packing in the quarter-finals by Brice Levedez of France.
The Malaysian, who emerged as champion twice (in 2005 and 2011) in Odense, said that he had paid the price this time for simple mistakes.
“The first game was filled with errors. Fortunately, I got back my rhythm in the second game,” he said.
Lee had looked good to return home a winner when he led 13-10 in the decider. However, he lost focus after some uncharacteristic mistakes.
Prannoy saw the window of opportunity and pressed on to take a 18-13 lead.
The Malaysian fought back and levelled the score at 19-19 but it was Prannoy who celebrated as Lee misjudged a shot to the baseline.
“I’d no problems keeping up with Prannoy’s speed. I lost today because I gave too many easy points. I must minimise these mistakes.”
Prannoy was just happy to get the better of the three-time Olympic silver medallists.
“We have to give Chong Wei respect as he is still playing at a high level at his age,” said Prannoy.
“Ovbiously, he has slowed down over the years but he still has the touches. He can play in any condition. I don’t think he has lost it.”
On his chances in the Denmark Open, Prannoy said he would take it “one match at a time”.
Meanwhile, it was also over for former international Tan Boon Heong in the men’s doubles. Boon Heong and his Indonesian partner Hendra Setiawan fought valiantly before going down 21-15, 18-21, 15-21 to Olympic champions Zhang Nan-Liu Cheng of China.
Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean also failed to clear the women’s doubles second round match after going down 18-21, 17-21 to Naoko Fukuman-Kurumi Yonao of Japan.