Vietnam's number one badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh has bowed out of the 2011 Yonex Denmark Open after losing 1-2 to Japanese rival Sho Sasaki in the second round on Friday.
The 9th-ranked Japanese star used his superior strength strategically to beat his 7th-ranked and 7th-seeded Vietnamese opponent.
After sharing the first two sets, the Japanese player slowed down the game in the decider and sprang up to win the match when his opponent began tiring.
It was the eighth time Minh and Sho Sasaki have clashed against each other. While Minh leads the tally with five wins, he has lost three of the four most recent times they have played each other.
Early this year, Sho Sasaki dethroned Minh in the final of the Australian Open in April to take the championship before beating Minh again in the US Open final match in July.
Minh was only able to beat his Japanese rival using home advantage as he won the 2011 Vietnam Open Grand Prix in Ho Chi Minh City in August.
Meanwhile, second seeded Lin Dan of China, also seeded second in the tournament, lost in the second round of the October 18-23 tournament to unseeded Wing Ki Wong of Hong Kong.
Minh will next compete at the French Open at Stade Pierre de Coubertin from October 25-30 before heading to Indonesia next month for the 26th Southeast Asian Games.
Minh is expected to win the men's singles gold medal at the SEA Games because world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia has decided not to compete.