Viet Nam's top badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh was defeated by India's Ajay Jayaram in the first round of the US$200,000 Japan Open Super Series on Wednesday.
The world number 25 came through 21-18, 21-19 in a match that lasted 34 minutes.
At the Viet Nam Open in 2008, world No 7 Minh beat Jayaram 2-0 (21-14, 21-11).
During the three-month Super Series break, the HCM City player made the quarter-finals of the World Championship, finished second at the US Open, and won both the Viet Nam Open and national championship, the latter only several days ago.
Viet Nam remain at 129th in the world, according to the September rankings released by FIFA.
Viet Nam were unable to improve on their position due to a lack of participation in any international events last month.
In the Southeast Asia region, Thailand moved up three steps to 117th in the world and first in the region, while Viet Nam stay at second followed by Singapore, who fell seven places from last month to 136th in the world.
Japan, Australia and South Korea top the Asian region.
The world rankings are still led by Spain, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.
The national U-19 team finished second at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U-19 Championships in Myanmar on Wednesday after they were defeated by Thailand on penalties in the final.
The teams were deadlocked 1-1 at full-time.
Thailand's Athit Wisetsilpa opened the scoring in the 35th minute, but Nguyen Xuan Nam pulled Viet Nam back just one minute later.
After the break, Thailand's Jaturong Pimkoon was dismissed after receiving a red card in the 59th minute, but the Vietnamese team failed to capitalise.
The top 24 men's and women's teams from colleges and universities have qualified for the final round of the National Student Volleyball Tournament – Toyota Cup, the organising committee announced yesterday.
The tournament saw 45 men's and 37 women's teams competing in six qualifying rounds nationwide that started in June.
The final round will see teams competing in four groups at HCM City's Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium on October 2-10. — VNS