Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying on Thursday defeated Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-19, 21-12 to reach the quarter-finals of the BWF All England Open in Birmingham.
Tai, the world No. 3, needed only 40 minutes to close out the round-of-16 matchup at the Utilita Arena.
In the opening game, the Taiwanese shuttler established an early 10-5 cushion, before an aggressive Ongbamrungphan fought her way back into the tie, winning nine straight points to take a 10-14 lead.
The pair traded the lead to bring the scores to 18-19, but Tai held her nerve to close out the first game.
After a 2-2 tie early in the second, Tai kept her opponent at bay, leading 12-10 before marching away.
With the victory, Tai has won 15 of their 18 previous encounters.
She was to play China’s He Bingjiao in the quarter-finals after press time last night.
Tai was the only Taiwanese shuttler still in the tournament after second-seeded South Korean An Se-young — who on Wednesday defeated Taiwan’s Hsu Wen-chi in the women’s singles — beat Pai Yu-po 21-3, 21-7 on Thursday.
Wang Tzu-wei and Chou Tien-chen crashed out in the opening round of the men’s singles on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen was one of three defending champions to crash out.
Reigning Olympic champion Axelsen suffered a stunning 21-18, 9-21, 23-21 loss to Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong in the second round of the men’s singles.
“It’s one of the most special tournaments to me,” Axelsen said. “It’s one of the biggest on the circuit, so I want to do well. And when you fail. It’s tough.”
Axelsen’s loss followed on from compatriot Anders Antonsen beating Lakshya Sen in straight games, meaning neither of last year’s finalists reached the last eight.
In the women’s doubles, Japanese duo Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida, the defending champions, lost 18-21, 21-19, 21-9 to South Korean pair Baek Ha-na and Lee So-hee.
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