World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying opens 2019 with a win

2019/01/16 12:10:43 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) / Image taken from Tai Tzu-ying's Facebook (www.facebook.com)

Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) / Image taken from Tai Tzu-ying's Facebook (www.facebook.com)

Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) opened 2019 with a victory in the first round of the US$350,000 Perodua Malaysia Masters badminton tournament on Wednesday, hoping to put behind her a injury-marred finish to the 2018 season.

Tai, the world's top-ranked women's badminton player, was knocked out of the group stage of the BWF World Tour Finals in mid-December when she had to retire with a hamstring injury in a decisive match against Japan's Akane Yamaguchi.

She showed few signs of being hampered Wednesday in her 2019 opener, brushing aside Cheung Ngan Yi (張雁宜) of Hong Kong 21-9, 21-11 in just 23 minutes.

Tai will next face Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark, and a win in that match would likely set up a quarterfinal showdown against sixth-seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, who has topped Tai in four of their last five matches dating back to November 2017.

One of the Thai's victories was a three-game thriller in the final of last year's Malaysia Masters 21-16, 14-21, 24-22.

(By Luke Sabatier)
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