Guangzhou: Despite winning the first game and was leading 18-17 in the second game, World No. 1 women’s singles player Tai Tzu Ying had to surrender her BWF World Tour Finals opening match by going down to World No. 3 Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-15, 18-21, 19-21 in a thrilling 3-setter in the Group B match.
Tai will face another tough test on Thursday where she faces World No. 5 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand. Intanon held a career head-to-head record against Tai prior to Thursday’s match.
Ratchanok on the other hand, opened her Group B match at the Tianhe Gymnasium with a bang when she eased past compatriot Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-4, 21-16.
Meanwhile, India’s reigning World Champion PV Sindhu started off well on Wednesday by clinching the first game 21-18 against World No. 4 Japanese Akane Yamaguchi.
However, Yamaguchi showed off her tireless running and extensive court coverage to rally from 16-18 to reel off 5 consecutive points to crush Sindhu 21-18 in the second set.
In the decider, Yamaguchi quickly ran away with 11-3 lead before the demoralized Sindhu let the game slipped away by losing 8-21 in the third set. Yamaguchi will play He Bing Jiao of China next while Sindhu will meet another Chinese player Chen Yu Fei on Thursday.
The World No. 2 Chen Yufei battled past He Bingjiao 21-9, 21-18 on Wednesday.