Sporting Life: Tai withdraws but leaves a memory of a stylish morning

Taiwanese shuttler Tai Tzu-ying in action during the Singapore Badminton Open, on July 13, 2022. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
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The distance between delight and regret is a complaining muscle. Yesterday morning Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei was giving a relaxed tutorial on spontaneous skill. By evening she had withdrawn from the Singapore Open with a hamstring injury. All artistry must eventually bend to physiology.

But dismay at the top seed's exit can't dim the memory of a fine morning. Even a passing flirtation with magic is something. Attending a 20-minute practice by Rafael Nadal is a privilege and watching a seven-second vault by Simone Biles is worth travelling hours to see. And so just getting to the Singapore Indoor Stadium at 9am to watch Tai cruise past her compatriot Pai Yu-po 21-17, 21-16 was enough.

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