World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying yesterday eased past her Thai opponent to advance to the second round of the Toyota Thailand Open.
The Taiwanese star toppled world No. 46 Supanida Katethong 21-16, 21-11 in 29 minutes at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.
“I think I played OK today. I am feeling a little better than last week,” Tai said.
Photo: AFP / Badminton Association of Thailand
Tomorrow, Tai faces Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. The two have faced each other six times, with Tai beating the world No. 21 in all six matches.
Tai on Sunday reached the final of the Yonex Thailand Open before losing decisively against Carolina Marin of Spain.
India’s P.V. Sindhu also cruised into the second round, erasing the memory of her surprise first-round exit a week earlier
The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist was sheer class as she pummeled Thailand’s world No. 12 Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-17, 21-13 in 42 minutes.
“It was a good game and I’m very, very happy. This win was very important for me in this tournament because at last week’s tournament, I went out in the first round,” sixth seed Sindhu said. “So this win today was important, because even though in the first game it was tight, I didn’t want to make it easy.”
Sindhu fell to Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in a shock a week ago in the first of back-to-back Thailand Opens.
In the men’s singles, former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth polished off Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin 21-11, 21-11.
The Indian, ranked 14th, was forced to pull out of last week’s tournament with a calf-muscle strain.
Thailand is hosting three consecutive badminton tournaments in Bangkok culminating in the World Tour Finals from Wednesday next week.
The players have been facing off in a biosecure “bubble” minus spectators, although the first tournament was overshadowed by three positive COVID-19 cases.
Players from China and Japan are not playing at the events in Thailand because of concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
Additional reporting by AFP
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