Taiwan shuttler Tai Tzu-ying thrills at Indonesia Open, punches into finals
Taipei, June 18 (CNA) Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) rocked the Indonesia Open on Saturday with a thrilling save of five game-points to eventually knock out her longstanding rival Chen Yufei (陳雨菲) of China, 10-21, 26-24, 21-12, and advance to the finals of the women's singles.
The world No. 2 and second-seeded Tai, a two-time Indonesian Open champion, recovered from a game down to save five points in the second game, forcing a decider, and she stayed steady against world No. 4 and reigning Olympic champion Chen for the rest of the match.
In the rubber game, Tai was the first to reach the mid-game interval 11-6, and she maintained her lead, 13-11, before powering ahead with six consecutive points to 19-11, to excited cheers from the crowd.
Tai then quickly found match point 20-12, before Chen hit a wide in the next play, losing the 69-minute match 21-10, 24-26, 12-21 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, will face off against world No. 14 Wang Zhiyi (王祉怡) of China in the final Sunday. It will be Tai's chance to give herself a birthday gift of the Indonesian Open singles' title, as she turns 28 on Monday.
Tai 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 round, and Line Kjaersfeldt of Denmark 21-13, 21-13 in the quarterfinals.
Prior to the Indonesia Open, Tai clinched the women's singles title at the Thailand Open last month, defeating Chen 21-15, 17-21, 21-12 in the final, in what was seen as a revenge win after her loss to the Chinese player in the Tokyo Olympics finals.
Earlier in the year, Tai was knocked out of the last 16 at the German Open in mid-March, finished third at the All-England Championships later in the month, and lost to current world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi at the Uber Cup team tournament in May.
In 2021, however, she was named the BWF Female Player of the Year, in recognition of an outstanding season in which she clinched silver medals at the World Championships and Tokyo Olympics.
The prestigious Super 1000 Indonesia Open, being held June 14-19, carries a total purse of US$1.2 million (NT$35.7 million).
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