Ratchanok likely to meet her neme­sis Tai

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

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.

REUTERS

Ratchanok In­tanon plays a shot against Tai Tzu-ying at the Den­mark Open.

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