Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jan. 20 – Rising badminton star Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan won her first title of 2013 by defeating Yao Xue of China in straight sets in the final of the women’s singles event at the Malaysia Open Sunday.
Tai, ranked 12th in the world and seeded sixth in Kuala Lumpur, needed 36 minutes to beat the world No. 151 Yao 21-17, 21-14.
The 18-year-old put together an impressive string of victories over third seed Tine Baun of Denmark, top seed Saina Nehwal of India and the up-and-coming Yao to claim the title, winning all three matches without dropping a set.
Tai said she will ask her parents to hold on to the US$30,000 in prize money she earned for winning the tournament.
The young player, who showed her potential in a close two-set lost to eventual gold medalist Li Xuerui of China at the London Olympics last year, credited her coach for the victory, saying that the strategy he advised her to follow was effective.
As for the future, Tai said she had no specific goals but would simply "go with the flow," but her coach, Lee Wei-jen, said she would focus on preparing for the Badminton Asia Championships in Taipei in April.
The victory was the Kaohsiung native’s second Super Series title of her career after winning the Japan Open last year.
Super Series events are the third most important events in badminton, following the top-level Olympics and World Championships and second-level Super Series Premier tournaments.