Young son’s support for dad not enough for tearful Wei Nan as he squanders chance to upset third seed Jan O Jorgensen
He could hear his two-year-old child’s cheers but the Hong Kong player is unable to handle the pressure despite being one point from beating the Dane
There were tears in the eyes of Wei Nan after the home player missed a great opportunity to stun third seed Jan O Jorgensen, of Denmark, at the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open on Thursday.
With a 20-18 lead in the deciding game, Wei had the full backing of the fans to finish off the job, including his two-year-old son, at the Coliseum in Hung Hom.
But in the end the 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist lost the game after deuce and the match following a 19-21, 21-13, 24-22 defeat by The Dane – the highest-ranked player in the men’s singles after top two seeds Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and mainlander Chen Long pulled out.
Jorgensen won last week’s China Open, beating Chen in the final.
“I don’t how to offer an explanation,” said the 32-year-old. “I had all the chances for a great win against one of the best players but the Dane has a great return of serve that put me under constant pressure.
“I don’t think there is a problem with my ability. I have beaten top players such as Lee Chong Wei and Son Won-ho, of South Korea, this year. Maybe it’s mental reasons.
“I felt absolutely sorry for my young kid as I could pick out his voice from among the fans’ cheers. He must be let down as well, although I lost four points in a row when I heard him cheer for me.”
Despite Wei’s close defeat, Hong Kong’s men’s singles players have had outstanding success so far with Ng Ka-long, Hu Yun and Vincent Wong Wing-ki making it to the last eight to give home fans a reason to celebrate.
While Ng, semi-finalist last year, thrashed young Hong Kong teammate Lee Cheuk-yiu 21-12, 21-16, Hu made hard work of Korean Son, the fourth seed, 21-17, 6-21, 21-16.
Wong also worked hard for 68 minutes to oust England’s Rajiv Ouseph 25-23, 14-21, 21-11.
In the women’s singles, Cheung Ngan-yi achieved her best result at the Hong Kong Open after making it to the quarter-finals following a 2-1 win over Nitchaon Jindapol, of Thailand.
Cheung, who reached the last four in last month’s Denmark Open superseries, took 50 minutes to record her first victory over the Thai player in their third encounter.
“There has been some significant progress recently and the outstanding result in Europe also gave me more confidence of playing at the highest level,” said Cheung, who will take on fifth seed Saina Nehwal, of India, in the next stage. “[Saina] is a world-class player and there is no pressure on me but I know the home fans will cheer for me and I hope I can handle it.”
Hong Kong achieved one of their best results in their home event with two pairs reaching the mixed doubles last eight – Lee Chun-hei and Chau Hoi-wah and the new combination of Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet.
The men’s doubles team of Lee Chun-hei and Law Cheuk-him are also in the quarter-finals.