This time last year, Yeo Jia Min was in a bit of a slump. From August 2022 to January 2023, the Singaporean had gone eight tournaments winning only one match. That slump would reflect in her rankings, as she went from No.17 in August to No.37 in February.
In contrast, 2024 has brought her happier returns. She was in the quarterfinals of the PETRONAS Malaysia Open 2024 – where she went down to An Se Young after a fightback in the third game, losing 21-19. The following week, at the YONEX SUNRISE India Open 2024, she was in the semifinals, falling to an impressed Tai Tzu Ying. Her list of vanquished opponents in recent months includes Busanan Ongbamrungphan, Michelle Li, Han Yue, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung and (an injured) An Se Young. The ranking graph has been steadily rising.
“It’s been a good start personally, in training and now in competition,” said the world No.19 at the India Open. “I have to take this momentum and get better. I’ve been working on a bit of everything – physically, tactics and skills.
The turnaround last year came from winning the Polish Open, after which she made the semifinals of the Madrid Spain Masters. Since then her performances have been quite consistent, and while she has yet to go deep at the top-tier tournaments, she is now a dangerous opponent for the top stars with her improved physical ability to last the distance in longer matches. Tai Tzu Ying, who was tested by the Singaporean in India, noted that her improved physicality was making her a dangerous opponent.
“She moves around the court really well and very fast and that put me under more pressure,” said the world No.2.
Yeo now speaks with greater confidence in her own abilities.
“I want to take every opportunity to keep going. Physically, I’m not very tired on court. I’m happy that my endurance has improved over the years; I have to work on how I can bring my speed up at different times of the matches.”