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Taiwan's world No. 1 retains badminton title in Denmark

2019-10-21  English News

Taipei, Oct. 20 (CNA) World No. 1 womens' singles badminton player Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan defended her title at the Denmark Open Sunday, defeating her Japanese opponent in straight games.

Fourth-seeded Tai defeated third-seeded world No. 4 Nozomi Okuhara 21-17, 21-14 in a tactical match that lasted 40 minutes.

The match, which was Tai's fifth final of the year, saw her play a superb net game, while putting pressure on the deep forehand of the Japanese shuttler.

The 24-year-old Okuhara attempted to get back into the match by delivering smashes down the line to trail Tai by only a few points for most of the first game.

However, Okuhara's indecisiveness on the court got the best of her after 25-year-old Tai won the first game 21-17.

Okuhara initially switched up the momentum in the second game, taking an early lead over Tai through good tactics and switching back and forth between backhand and forehand attacks.

However, Tai took the lead halfway into the game with aggressive strikes and disguised pushes deep into the forehand corner.

The faces on the Japanese bench began to show signs of concern when the Taiwanese ace won eight consecutive points in the second game, widening the gap on the scoreboard.

Constant cries of "Chia Yu!" from the audience culminated in a reverse slice straight backhand drop shot from Tai to win the second game 21-14 and bag up her third title of the year.

Tai, who won 42 of the 73 total points played, said she was very happy to play in Denmark because people there support her whenever she competes.

"I think this court gives me a very good feeling because it feels as if the focus of the audience is on me and I really like that feeling," she said.

With the latest win, Tai successfully defended her title from last year, while also extending her head-to-head record against the 2017 world champion Okuhara to 6-4.

The Denmark Open 2019, which carried a total purse of US$775,000, is part of the BWF World Tour Super 750 and was held in Odense from Oct. 15-20. The first Denmark Open was held in 1935.