TOKYO (AFP) –
Athens Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat revealed Thursday that he will retire next year, as he reached the quarter-finals at the Japan Open.
“After the (London) Olympics, I decided to play 10 more tournaments and this is the first one. I will retire after the Indonesian Open next year,” said the Indonesian seventh seed after beating Japan’s Akira Koga 21-11, 21-10.
Hidayat, 31, who has yet to win a title this season, added: “I’m satisfied that I can still compete in a big tournament like this.
“For sure I haven’t won this tournament, but I reached the final three times before. I know I have a better chance because of the withdrawals of the Chinese players, but I’m not in my best form.
“I’m going to try to take my chances as far as possible and get the best possible result in my last Japan Open.”
Hidayat kept on course for a probable semi-final encounter against top-seeded Lee Chong Wei, who will play Victor Axelsen of Denmark later in the day.
All Chinese players pulled out of the Japan Open in protest at a territorial dispute between the two countries. China won all five titles at the London Olympics and again last week at their home Superseries.
In the women’s singles second round in Tokyo, top seed Tine Baun of Denmark eased past Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand 21-14, 21-7.
Baun captured her first major title five years ago in the Japan Open and went on to win the prestigious All England titles in 2008 and 2009.
Thai third seed Ratchanok Intanon defeated Tee Jing Yi of Malaysia 21-11, 21-10, and set up a quarter-final match against fifth seed Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan, winner over Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand 21-13, 21-17.