The women’s singles, the most exciting category was off to a great start with some major upsets and some good wins by the seeds. The long durations with lack of competition seemed to have had an effect on the players and some of the players had a rusty start. Plus the lack of three start players Chen Yufei, Akane Yamaguchi and Nozomi Okuhara can also be seen.
First seed Tai Tzu Ying beat a much lower-ranked Thai Benyapa Aimsaard 21-18, 26-24. Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark created one of the biggest upsets by ousting PV Sindhu 16-21, 26-24, 21-13. Saina Nehwal who recently recovered from COVID-19 suffered a defeat at the hand of home player Busanan Ongbumrungphan 21-23, 21-14, 21-16. She seemed fatigued reaching the third game. The players played point to point, well-placed shots with aggression and pace. The Thai prevailed over the Indian due to better fitness. Michelle Li of Canada beat Sung Ji Hyun of Korea 21-17, 21-17 in the second round.
First seed Tai Tzu Ying eased past eighth seed Canadian Michelle Li, 21-11, 21-13. The first half of both sets was a bit rocky for the first seed with many errors form her end. However, she picked up the rhythm and wrapped up the game in her favour comfortably. Michelle had no answers to Terrific Tai’s splendid shots. Li, however, showed some brilliant rallies and picked up points in flashes, but could not be consistent.
Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark is having a memorable week here at Thailand, beating PV Sindhu in the first round and making it to a quarter-final of a Super 1000. She won the first game 21-13 against Busanan who beat Saina Nehwal in the second round. The second game went more intense. After 15-15 in the second game, Mia broke off to a four-point lead. Busanan tried to come back level, played some good smashes, but Mia took the second game 21-18.
An Se Young, the teenage sensation from Korea showed great form as she emerged victorious over home favourite and two-time former champion, Ratchanok Intanon. Lean and small, seemingly playing not so powerful shots, her court coverage and retrieving skills and placement was spot on. Combined with errors from the Thai, The Korean won the match 22-20, 21-12.
The Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin beat Thai Supanida Katethog 21-16, 21-16 despite many hiccups. Marin seemed to make quite some errors but compensated them by playing better rallies with controlled pace and precise shots. Supanida too upped her game and played some magnificent rallies taking away points from Marin. However, the much more experience Marin prevailed.
Tai Tzu Ying Vs Mia Blichfeldt
Tai Tzu Ying Holds 1-0 lead against Mia Blichfeldt. The last meeting between the two was in 2016 at the French Open. Tai Tzu Ying, world number one is one of the most talented players out there. Mia of Denmark seems to have come back as a better player post the international break. It can be expected that Tai Tzu wins but Mia would definitely be giving the world number one a stiff challenge. The Danish is brimming with confidence having beaten a higher-ranked PV Sindhu in the very first round.
Carolina Marin vs An Se Young
Carolina Marin, Olympic Champion holds a 2-1 head to head against the Korean Youngster. Marin beat Young in straight sets in their last meeting at the Indonesia Masters 2020. Although Marin is a much better and experienced player, in the recent past, An Se Young has made ripples in the circuit with major upsets. She put up a brilliant performance this tournament ousting home favourite Ratchanok Intanon in straight sets 22-20 21-12. Marin has been good this tournament, however, certain slack can be seen in her court movement and errors in her quarterfinal match. An Se is capable of exploiting such slacks. Marin needs to be at her best like she mostly does, to win this match.
All said and done, the matches are definitely going to nail-biting. Fans can sit back and enjoy some top-class badminton yet again!
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Have a Smashing Day!