“Queen”, “Legend”, “Majesty”, “Phenomen” It is hard finding the right word for the Taiwanese wonder, Tai Tzu Ying.
On Sunday, she managed to scoop another title to her already glowing belt of titles, the Asia Badminton Championships. This triumph was Tai’s 6th tournament in a row starting at Hong Kong Kong Open, Dubai Superseries Finals, All England Open, Malaysia Open, Singapore Open before the Asia title.
Tai has proven once more why she is the current World no. 1 on the BWF Ranking with incredible 21 wins of 21 matches in 2017.
The final was up against the short but fast Japanese Akane Yamaguchi who won their last encounter back in the final at Denmark Open 2016. The Japanese girl managed to stress Tai in the first game and could therefore grab the set 18-21. A new set a new beginning for Tai and she found her strong game plan with deceptive shots and skilful attacks in the two last games pushing Yamaguchi around the court, with a tight net spin followed up by a kill, Tai could be crowned as the Asia Champion 2017, her first Asia Championship title.
Tai smashed of the week against two Vietnamese players in her first two rights, which she won without any big problems in straight sets. The quarterfinal was against Chinese youngster, Chen Yufiei, who gave Tai a real tight battle weeks ago at Malaysia Open, that match eneded 24-22 in the decider for Tai. This time there were no mercy from Tai and clearly studied the match form their previous encounter closing the match 21-11 21-7.
The semi-final was against the Korean surprise Lee Jang Mi who managed to beat several top10 players as Japan’s Okuhara and China’s Sun Yu on her way. In this match, Tai was too big of a challenge for Lee with a 21-8 21-16 win.
Asia Championships was a breakthrough for several Korean players with Lee Jang Mi entering the semi-final and another big surprise silver medallist Kim Hye Rin and Yoo Hae Won. Kim/Yoo managed to set up a big fight in the final against Japan’s world no. 1 Takahashi/Matsutomo, but after 85 minutes’ battle it was decided they were to be handed the silver medals for the Asia Championships with the score 19-21 21-11 10-21.
Korea also won a bronze medal in the Women’s Double with Chang Ye Na/Lee So Hee, who also lost their semifinal against the Japanese world no. 1 pair.
The European Championships was held on the same week in Kolding, Denmark. Swiss player Sabrina Jaquet manged to win her first medal at the European Championships as she reached the semifinal before losing a close match to Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour.
Overall this week resulted in 1 gold medal for Tai, 1 silver medal for Kim/Yoo, 2 bronze medals for Chang/Lee and Jaquet.