Mon, Apr 15, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Tai beats Japan’s Okuhara for Singapore Open title

SECOND VICTORY:Tai Tzu-ying said she prepared herself mentally before facing Nozomi Okuhara, as her opponent plays more offensively and ‘can run’

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying poses after winning the women’s singles title at the Singapore Open badminton tournament in Singapore yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Taiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) yesterday clinched the women’s singles title at the Singapore Open, beating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in straight sets.

World No. 1 Tai defeated the 2017 Badminton World Federation champion 21-19, 21-15 in just 41 minutes.

The victory marked Tai’s second title of the season and consolidated her ranking in women’s singles.

Okuhara “plays more offensively and she’s not an easy opponent to play against. I know she can run, so I was mentally prepared to run a lot today, since I also had a long match yesterday,” Singapore’s Straits Times quoted Tai as saying in a post-match news conference.

“She’s [Tai] very speedy and skilled, so I had to be careful. I made a lot of easy mistakes, so I couldn’t win today,” Okuhara said at the new conference.

The Singapore Open, a World Tour Super 500 event, has a total prize pool of US$355,000.

On April 7, Tai won her third consecutive women’s singles title at the Malaysia Open, becoming the first woman to do so since 2006, when Chinese player Zhang Ning (張寧) scored a hat-trick.

Tai, who did not participate in the Singapore Open last year, won the title at the 2017 tournament and was second at the 2010 and 2015 competitions.

Tai and Okuhara were scheduled to face each other for the eighth time at the Hong Kong Open last year, but Tai retired from the tournament midway through her semi-final against Okuhara.

In April last year, Tai won the women’s singles title at the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, China, to become the first player to defend the title in 10 years.

However, she is not participating in this year’s tournament, which opens on Tuesday next week in Wuhan.

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