TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese badminton player Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) advanced into the quarter-finals at the Yonex Thailand Open on Thursday (Jan. 14) after beating her South Korean opponent Kim Ga-eun in just 29 minutes.
In her second match back at the international level, the world No. 1 Tai defeated No. 17 Kim 21-16, 21-10 without much difficulty. Despite being in an early tie in both games, the Taiwanese ace was able to nab the lead with her unpredictable playing style and hold down the 2019 U.S. Open runner-up.
The victory gave Tai a 4-0 advantage over Kim, as the two players had met three times prior to Thursday’s match. Tai will next face Canadian Michelle Li (No. 10) for a place in the semi-finals.
Speaking in a post-game interview, Tai noted that it has not been easy for the players to compete at such a high level following the 10-month hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. She said she had less unforced errors than the last game and that she felt good about her overall performance, reported France 24.
Since clinching the women’s singles title at the YONEX All England Open last March, Tai had not competed in any international events until this week. Besides the YONEX Thailand Open, which will run until Sunday (Jan. 17), she is also set to compete in the Toyota Thailand Open from Jan. 19-24 and the HSBC BWF 2020 World Tour Final from Jan. 27-31.
Tai Tzu-ying. (Badminton Association of Thailand photo)
(Badminton World Federation website screenshot)