Tai Tzu Ying denies Nozomi Okuhara to claim the Singapore Open title

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Tai Tzu Ying (R) poses with Nozomi Okuhara during the 2019 Singapore Open awards ceremony. (photo: Xinhua)
Tai Tzu Ying (R) poses with Nozomi Okuhara during the 2019 Singapore Open awards ceremony. (photo: Xinhua)

Singapore: World No. 1 women’s singles player Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan claimed her second Singapore Open title with a straight set 21-19, 21-15 victory over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara on Sunday.

Fresh from winning last week’s Malaysia Open title, Tai racked up her second title in second week as her speed and skill were in full display to outlast the World No. 3 Okuhara in 40 minutes.

The first set was tighter than expected when Okuhara came back from 8-13 to lead at 16-15. Tai then settled into her rhythm using disguised smashes and kept Okuhara moving while Okuhara kept hitting high and long trying to keep Tai at the back court. But a bad judgement from Okuhara at her left back court allowed Tai to nail the first game.

Tai was also trying to move Okuhara to both corners of her backcourt and was being ruthless when opportunities to smash came her way. At match point, a lift from Okuhara gave Tai a beautiful chance as she quickly hit the shuttlecock to Okuhara’s right mid court to take the title.

After the match, Tai’s head-to-head record against the energetic Okuhara has improved to 5-4.

“Okuhara is a tough opponent, she attacked more today and she can really run. I was expecting a long match today,” said Tai.

“Thank you to the fans who supported me, I was very touched. I am hoping to stay injury-free until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” added Tai.

The Singapore Open also marked Tai’s second title of the season and will further consolidate her world No. 1 women’s singles ranking.

In the mixed doubles finals, Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai quickly eased past Malaysia’s Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing 21-14, 21-6 to win the Singapore Open.

Japan’s women’s doubles No. 3 seeds Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara beat South Korea’s Kim Hye-jeong/Kong Hee-yong 21-17, 22-20 to win Japan’s first out of three titles at the tournament. Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda won in the men’s doubles while Kento Momota took the third title for the Japanese team in men’s singles.

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