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OLYMPICS: Taiwan's Tai wins badminton group but has tough draw ahead

2012/07/31 17:32:31

Taipei, July 31 (CNA) Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying, has won her group in the Olympic badminton competition to advance to the 16-player elimination round, where she immediately faces a daunting challenge.

The 18-year-old, currently ranked 13th in the world and seeded 10th in London in women's singles, won her three-player group as expected by defeating Victoria Montero of Mexico 21-6, 21-10 early Tuesday.

Tai had previously defeated Anu Nieminen of Finland, also in straight games, to finish atop her group with a 2-0 record and book a spot in the knockout stage.

In her opening round match, she will face third seed Li Xuerui, one of the three Chinese players expected to sweep the medals in the event.

Li may be the hottest of the three. She has won four of the last five singles events she's played in, the only blemish coming at the Indonesia Open in mid-June when she lost to Saina Nehwal of India in the final.

Tai has a puncher's chance, having played well in spurts against the 21-year-old Chinese in two recent matches.

She lost to Li at the All England Open in March, 19-21, 21-16, 21-10, and at the French Open last October, 21-8, 21-19.

(By Luke Sabatier)