Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying yesterday saved five game-points to knock out longstanding rival Chen Yufei of China 10-21, 26-24, 21-12 and advance to the women’s singles final at the BWF East Ventures Indonesia Open in Jakarta.
The world No. 2 and second-seeded Tai, a two-time Indonesian Open champion, recovered from a game down to save five game points in the second, forcing a decider, and stayed steady against world No. 4 and reigning Olympic champion Chen for the rest of the match.
In the rubber game, Tai reached the mid-game interval at 11-6, and maintained her lead, 13-11, before powering ahead with six consecutive points to 19-11, to excited cheers from the stands.
Tai quickly found match point 20-12, before Chen hit wide in the next play, losing the 69-minute match to the Taiwanese, who extended her head-to-head advantage to 17-4.
Tai, who won the Indonesia Open women’s singles in 2016 and 2018, today faces world No. 14 Wang Zhiyi of China in the final.
The match is a chance for Tai to give herself a singles title birthday gift, before she turns 28 tomorrow.
She has been on a roll at the Indonesian Open this year, defeating Singaporean Yeo Jia Min 21-14, 21-14 in the first round, American Iris Wang 15-21, 21-16, 21-9 in the second and Line Kjaersfeldt of Denmark 21-13, 21-13 in the quarter-finals.
Last month, Tai clinched the women’s singles title at the Thailand Open, defeating Chen 21-15, 17-21, 21-12 in the final, in what was seen as revenge for her loss to the Chinese player at the Tokyo Olympics gold medal match last year.
Tai was knocked out of the last 16 at the Yonex Gainward German Open in mid-March and finished third at the All England Open Badminton Championships later in the month. She lost to world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi at the Uber Cup team tournament last month.
Last year, she was named BWF Female Player of the Year in recognition of an outstanding season in which she clinched silver medals at the BWF World Championships and Tokyo Olympics.
The Super 1000 Indonesia Open carries a total purse of US$1.2 million.
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