Ratchanok likely to meet her nemesis Tai
Well-rested Ratchanok Intanon will begin her China Open campaign in Fuzhou today.
The world No.6 Thai will meet No.49 Chen Su Yu of Taiwan in the women’s singles first round at Haixia Olympic Sports Center.
She could again face top-ranked Tai Tzu-ying, another Taiwanese player, in the quarter-finals of the US$700,000 Superseries Premier tournament.
Last month, Ratchanok beat Tai in the semi-finals of the Denmark Open on her way to winning her first Superseries title in 18 months.
But the following week, the Taiwanese avenged the loss with a win over the 22-year-old Thai in the quarter-finals in Paris.
Ratchanok, who has also won two Grand Prix Gold tournaments this year, has not played since the French Open.
She may have a better chance of defeating Tai in Fuzhou after taking the muchneeded break.
“I lost to Tai in the French Open because I was exhausted after two tough matches [in Denmark],’’ Ratchanok said after the Paris event.
At the Denmark Open, Ratchanok needed three sets to beat Tai in the last four and Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the deciding match.
China may be a happy hunting ground for Ratchanok, who won the world title in Guangzhou in 2013 and the Asian crown in Wuhan in 2015.
The former world No.1 also won a silver in the team event at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.
As the season reaches its final stretch, players are trying to win spots at the Dubai World Superseries Finals next month.
Ratchanok is highly likely to earn a berth at the lucrative season-ending tournament as she is currently fourth in the women’s singles in the Destination Dubai Rankings.
The top eight players of each category get places at the Dubai tournament.
Ratchanok Intanon plays a shot against Tai Tzu-ying at the Denmark Open.