Malaysia's Tee Jing Yi is congratulated by coach Wong Tat Meng after she beat Japan's Sayaka Takahashi in the opening match of their Uber Cup group tie on Tuesday. - AZHAR MAHFOF/ The Star
NEW DELHI: Tee Jing Yi was the bright spark for Malaysia on a day when they were eliminated from the Uber Cup competition after a second straight loss in Group Z at Siri Fort Indoor Stadium.
Jing Yi, the country's top women's singles player, made light of the difference in world ranking by edging Sayaka Takahashi 22-20, 21-19 in the first singles encounter.
Jing Yi, who is only ranked 50th in the world, lost all three previous meetings with Takahashi but kept her cool this time to turn the table on the 13th ranked Japanese.
"I was not feeling any pressure although it was close in both games. I had nothing to lose as we were considered underdogs against a team like Japan.
"I am happy to get a breakthrough win," said Jing Yi, who was making her second Uber Cup appearance in four years.
Unfortunately, Jing Yi's win failed to inspire the rest of the team.
Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi quickly levelled the tie by taking only 36 minutes to beat Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho 21-13, 21-10.
Veteran Eriko Hirose outplayed Lim Yin Fun, who was moved to second singles to replace Yang Li Lian, 23-21, 21-12.
Japan got the winning point with their second doubles pair of Mami Naito-Shizuka Matsuo who coasted to a 21-17, 21-8 win over scratch combination Lee Meng Yean-Vivian Hoo.
Akane Yamaguchi then beat Lim Chiew Sien 21-19, 21-14 in the dead third singles match.
Malaysia will play Germany on Wednesday and the winner will avoid finishing last in the group.
Denmark, who whipped Germany 5-0 on Tuesday, will play Japan to decide who tops Group Z.