Taiwanese Tai Tzu-ying — the world’s No. 1 badminton player — yesterday moved a step closer to defending her Blibli Indonesia Open single’s title after advancing to the quarter-finals beating Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in straight sets 21-19, 21-18.
Although Tai lagged behind Busanan 17-19 at one point in the first set in Jakarta, she later picked up steam and scored four points to take the lead 21-19.
In the second set, Tai took an early 3-0 lead, but Busanan edged past her 8-7 and they continued in a close fight until Tai eventually prevailed 21-18.
It was Tai’s fifth consecutive victory against the Thai player.
Tai set up a quarter-final clash with long-term rival Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, who overcame Indonesia’s young ace Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in three sets.
The two have a close record against each other, with Tai taking 11 of their 24 encounters.
In the men’s singles, Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen also advanced to the quarter-finals after posting a hard-fought 24-22, 17-21, 21-13 victory over Lin Dan of China.
In the final 16, the fourth seed is to take on Indonesian Jonatan Christie, against whom he has a rough 1-6 record.
The Bilibli Indonesia Open, an HSBC Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 1000 tournament, runs through Sunday.
It is the second super 1000 event of the season, after the All England Open was played in March and ahead of the China Open in September.
It offers a purse of US$1.25 million, with singles winners awarded US$87,500 each.
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