Tai Tzu-ying yesterday was Taiwan’s final hope at the Petronas Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur, advancing to quarter-finals of the women’s singles with a decisive win over Kristin Kuuba of Estonia.
The world No. 2 and second-seeded Tai crushed world No. 51 Kuuba 21-11, 21-9 in their second-round match, which lasted about 30 minutes, at the Super 750 tournament at the Axiata Arena.
In the opener, Tai shot ahead 11-8 at the mid-game interval, with Kuuba starved after the break, scoring one point as the Taiwanese hit five consecutive winners to bound to 16-9.
Kuuba rallied to gain two more points, but Tai was soon on the charge again, with another five consecutive points handing her the opening game.
In the second, Tai took a comfortable early lead and extended it to 17-9 then cleaned up with four consecutive points to take the match.
Tai faces world No. 7 Pusarla Sindhu of India today for a place in the semi-finals.
Tai has been on a roll since the Thailand Open, which she won in May in a comeback from the German Open in the middle of March, when she was knocked out in the final 16.
She snagged her second title of the year at the Indonesian Open last month.
However, the rest of the Taiwanese who played yesterday were eliminated.
World No. 4 Chou Tien-chen was knocked out by world No. 21 H.S. Prannoy of India 15-21, 7-21 in their second-round men’s singles match.
World No. 16 Wang Tzu-wei was also eliminated from the men’s singles, losing to world No. 27 Lu Guangzu of China 21-18, 21-11.
In the men’s doubles, Olympic gold medalists Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin crashed out in a 21-17, 21-18 loss at the hands of Malaysians Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.
The Malaysia Open, which concludes on Sunday, has a total purse of US$675,000.
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