TOKYO – 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 remained on course for a probable semi-final encounter against top-seeded Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who whipped Victor Axelsen of Denmark 21-10, 21-12.
"My opponent today was a lower ranked player," said Lee.
"So as I said yesterday that I’ve been trying to change my style technically, I tried to vary my play widely to improve my technique. I hit different shots as many (times) as possible," he said.
Before meeting each other, Hidayat must beat his compatriot Simon Santoso, who eliminated Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-8, 21-11.
Lee will also take on his compatriot Chong Wei Feng, who beat Ajay Jayaram of India 21-16, 21-16.
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 other action, fourth-seeded Sho Sasaki of Japan crashed to Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand 12-21, 12-21, while eighth-seeded Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam defeated Malaysia’s Daren Liew 21-14, 21-23, 21-16.
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 as the remaining seven seeds safely went through.
They included Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk and Ratchanok Intanon, South Korea’s Bae Yeon-Ju and Sung Ji-Hyun, Japan’s Ai Goto and Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying.