Tai ousts Nehwal, two wins from hat-trick

LONDON • Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu-ying believes that her best is yet to come, after defeating Saina Nehwal of India 21-15, 21-19 in the quarter-finals of the All England Open yesterday.

"I think I played quite well today, but there is still more room for improvement tomorrow, I can definitely play better," she said on the tournament's official website.

"I think my game is OK, but I usually make a lot of mistakes in the mid-game area, so I think that's where I can improve my game and reduce mistakes."

The two-time champion won the match at Arena Birmingham in just 37 minutes to clinch her 13th straight victory against Nehwal, who last won in 2015.

Tai is playing only her second tournament this year after withdrawing from last December's World Tour Finals in Guangzhou through injury. The defending champion is also now on track to emulate China's Xie Xingfang's hat-trick of titles. Xie won her treble when she triumphed in 2005-07.

In today's semi-finals, Tai will meet Japan's Akane Yamaguchi, whom she beat in last year's final.

Yamaguchi was stretched by China's He Bingjiao yesterday before winning 21-16, 19-21, 21-12.

On International Women's Day yesterday, Tai also urged young girls who have the passion for sport not to give up on their dreams.

The world No. 1 said: "I believe that all the women out there and little girls out there have the potential in sport. Everyone should do (her) best and try (her) hardest in sport. Every woman out there can shine in the sports arena."

In the men's draw, defending champion Shi Yuqi of China made light work of Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama, winning 21-14, 21-7 while Angus Ng of Hong Kong beat Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto 16-21, 21-14, 21-15.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2019, with the headline 'Tai ousts Nehwal, two wins from hat-trick'. Print Edition | Subscribe