Tai Tzu-ying knocked out of Malaysia Open by China's Chen Yufei
Taipei, July 2 (CNA) Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) was knocked out of the Malaysia Open Saturday after losing her women's singles semifinal against Chen Yufei (陳雨菲) of China 21-19, 13-21, 15-21.
Despite two previous victories for second-seed Tai against Chen this season - including a win in the final of the Thailand Open - fourth-seed Chen dispatched the World No. 2 in an hour and eight minutes at Kuala Lumpur's Axiata Arena to secure a spot in the Super 750 tournament's final.
Tai won the opening game of the last-four matchup by two consecutive points after the score was tied 19-19.
However, she then suffered a horrific point drought after the mid-interval break in the second game, which then saw Chen go on a 9-1 run from 12-12 to force the match to a decider.
Tai led for most of the rubber game until Chen steadily brought the scores level at 14-14.
Chen then pushed into a 17-15 lead, before finishing off the match with a run of four consecutive points.
The outcome of Saturday's match was a repeat of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics women's singles, which saw Chen clinch the gold medal with a 21-18, 19-21, 21-18 win.
However, even with the latest defeat, Tai still holds a respectable 17-5 head-to-head record against Chen.
Tai is a serial former champion at the Malaysia Open, winning the title in 2013, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
The tournament, held from June 28 to July 3, carries a total prize purse of US$675,000 (NT$20.12 million).
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