PETALING JAYA: Tired legs and injury have forced Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie (pic) to join a growing list of retirements that has marred the Denmark Open this year.
Jonatan raised the white flag after losing the opening game 13-21 and trailing 0-15 in the second game against Kento Momota of Japan in the men’s singles quarter-finals in Odense on Friday.
The 24-year-old Jonatan complained of back injury at the start of the second game but tried to stay as long as he could on court before the world No. 7 eventually withdrew.
Besides Jonatan, there were a total of nine other retirements since the start of the tournament - a number considered high in a top-class tournament.
His teammate and Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medallist Anthony Ginting had also pulled out on the first day after trailing 1-4 against Thomas Rouxel of France.
Both had been kept busy this year since the Tokyo Olympic Games in July. They had also competed in the Sudirman Cup in Finland and Thomas Cup Finals in Aarhus two weeks ago.
Several top names, whose campaign ended prematurely, were women’s doubles top seeds Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan of China and sixth seeds Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida of Japan, He Jiting-Liu Xuanxuan of China (mixed doubles), India’s P. Kashyap and Sameer Verma (men’s singles).
On top of the injuries, several top players also played below par and were sent packing in the early rounds, including Indonesia’s top men’s doubles pair Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya, Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan; and third seeds Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin.
The injuries and jaded performances were expected, said Datuk Rashid Sidek.
“There are just so many tournaments in the second half of the year and this can’t be avoided,” said Rashid.
Due to Covid-19, some of the major tournaments were deferred to the second part of the year.
“It’s cramped as there are Open tournaments too. After this Denmark Open, there will be the tournaments in France and Germany. Then, there are Opens in Indonesia in November.
“Players will have to be wise and peak in tournaments that they have set their eyes on. They have to take care of their bodies.
“I believe the world body (Badminton World Federation) are doing their best to keep the world of badminton alive after the long break due to Covid-19 in 2020,” he added.
Men’s singles: Lee Cheuk Yiu (Hkg) bt Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) 21-16, 19-21, 21-19; Kento Momota (Jpn) bt Jonatan Christie (Ina) 21-13, 15-0 rtd; Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Lee Zii Jia (Mas) 21-19, 21-19; Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) bt Sameer Verma (Ind) 21-17, rtd.
Men’s doubles: Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den) bt Muhammad Shohibul-Bagas Maulana (Ina) 19-21, 21-11, 21-17; Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn) bt Akira Koga-Taichi Saito (Jpn) 21-18, 21-17; Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel (Ger) bt Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Mas) 21-18, 21-19.
Women’s singles: An Se-young (Kor) bt P.V. Sindhu (Ind) 21-11, 21-12; Kirsty Gilmour (Sco) bt Clara Azurmendi (Spa) 21-15, 18-21, 21-11.
Women’s doubles: Huang Dongping-Zheng Yu (Chn) bt Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu (Ina) 14-21, 21-10, 21-13; Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan (Kor) bt Puttita Supajirakul-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) 21-18, 23-21; Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong (Kor) bt Liu Xuanxuan-Xia Yuting (Chn) 21-11, 21-17; Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) bt Du Yue-Li Wenmei (Chn) 21-19, 21-13.
Mixed doubles: Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Lee Jhe-huei-Hsu Ya-ching (Tpe) 21-9, 11-3 rtd; Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva (Ina) bt Feng Yanzhe-Du Yue (Chn) 21-16, 18-21, 21-17.