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World No. 1 Tai edges through to Indonesia Masters final

2018/01/27 21:46:24

Taipei, Jan. 27 (CNA) World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) has played plenty of tough matches in her first two tournaments of the year, but she has reached her second consecutive final after surviving another tough challenge on Saturday.

Taiwan's Tai topped eighth-seed He Bingjiao (何冰嬌) of China 19-21, 21-15, 21-15 in 50 minutes in the semifinals of the Indonesia Masters to book a spot in the finals against longtime rival Saina Nehwal of India.

Tai has an 8-5 lifetime edge over Nehwal and has won their last six encounters, but the Indian has been in form in Indonesia, knocking off seventh seed Chen Yufei of China, second seed Pusarla V. Sindhu of India and fourth seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in previous matches while dropping only one game.

The world No. 1 struggled to get a grip on her match against He, and trailed for most of the first game. She rebounded from an 18-13 deficit to knot the score at 19 before losing the next two points.

The next two games were similar, with Tai struggling to shake the young Chinese. She needed a 7-2 run at the end of the second game and a 6-1 flourish at the end of the deciding game to put He away.

Tai has had several tough matches in the early stages of the new badminton season.

At the Malaysia Masters last week, she needed three games to win her opening match, and then saved four match points against the formidable Carolina Marin of Spain in the semis before bowing out in a marathon 65-minute final to Intanon.

In Indonesia this week, she had to survive two match points in her opening round match against Michelle Li of Canada to advance.

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