Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying reached the final of badminton’s Thailand Open yesterday with a three-set win over Ratchanok Intanon, setting up a rematch against Carolina Marin.
Tai won 12-21, 21-12, 23-21 in 59 minutes to set up her second final against Marin in two weeks, while Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin advanced to the final in the men’s doubles.
However, Chou Tien-chen was eliminated in the semi-finals of the men’s singles.
Photo courtesy of the Badminton Association of Thailand via CNA
Tai saved six game points in the win against her Thai opponent Intanon, who went into the match with a superior head-to-head record against the Taiwanese world No. 1.
Tai’s best streak was a run of nine consecutive points in a match that went down to the wire.
Spain’s fifth seed and former world No. 1 Marin had a much easier time, breezing into the final with a 21-19, 21-15 win over South Korea’s An Se-young.
Photo: AFP / Badminston Association of Thailand
The 27-year-old Spaniard, ranked sixth in the world, is aiming for back-to-back titles in this week’s tournament — the second of three consecutive events in Bangkok that culminate in next week’s World Tour Finals.
She came out on top last week against top-seeded Tai and continued her winning streak yesterday, maintaining her signature aggressive play against seventh-seeded An.
The pair had already dueled in last week’s tournament, with the more experienced Marin winning in a quick 21-18, 21-16 match.
An, an 18-year-old who was awarded Most Promising Player in 2019, was downcast after yesterday’s defeat.
“I tried to respond to her smashes and tried everything,” the teenager said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go quite so well, so I’m a little disappointed.”
Marin’s signature yelps after each match point reverberated around the spectatorless stadium — a precaution taken by Thailand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taiwan’s world No. 7 pairing of Lee and Wang defeated world No. 2 pairing Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in the semi-finals, winning 14-21, 22-20, 21-12 in 50 minutes.
In today’s final, they face Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia, who ousted India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 21-18, 21-18.
The Taiwanese shuttlers won last week’s Yonex Thailand Open final against another Malaysian pair, Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V. Shem, and enter today’s match with a 2-0 head-to-head advantage over their opponents.
World No. 2 Chou fell 21-19, 21-15 to Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
In 12 previous matchups, the Taiwanese has only defeated Axelsen twice and he also lost to him in the semi-finals last week.
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