Los Angeles, July 7 (CNA) Taiwan's Pai Hsiao-ma clinched Saturday her first career title in a Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament by defeating Kaori Imabeppu of Japan in the U.S. Badminton Open.
Pai, who currently ranks 27th in the world, won a hard-fought match against the Japanese player, struggling at 21-17,16-21 in the first two sets.
But she quickly recovered in the third to beat Kaori 21-11 in the final of the championships held in Orange County, California.
In a post-game interview, the 26-year-old said she was very pleased to win the championship after experiencing a tough time with injury and being eliminated from Taiwan's national team for the 2012 London Olympics.
Pai, who had never played against Kaori, known for her speed on court, said the pace of the second set was too slow, but she later managed to pace herself in the third set to finally grab victory.
The victory was Pai's best performance to date in a tournament at the Grand Prix Gold level of the Badminton World Federation.
It also means Taiwan kept the U.S. Open women's singles title, won last year by Pai's countrywoman, Tai Tzu-ying.
(By Oscar Wu and Hanna Liu)