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Sunday January 20, 2013

Youngster Tzu Ying shows class in women’s badminton

MALAYSIAN OPEN BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
PUTRA STADIUM, BUKIT JALIL (Jan 15-20)

TAIWANESE youngster Tai Tzu Ying has enjoyed a stellar rise in the rankings since making a breakthrough three years ago.

Then, as a 16-year-old barely out of high school, Tzu Ying announced her presence to the world when she reached the final of the Singapore Open, before losing to India’s Saina Nehwal.

She then went to become the youngest national champion in Taiwan before winning her first international title – the US Open GP Gold a year later.

Now at 19, the daughter of a firefighter has grown so much in stature and has already become a regular in the upper echelons of women’s badminton.

Playing with a cool and composed style, together with a variety of strokes and excellent footwork, Tzu Ying has already beaten several top stars such as China’s Wang Yihan and Wang Xin, India’s Saina Nehwal and Thailand’s Inthanon Ratchanok.

Tzu Ying, currently ranked No, 12 in the world, also captured the Japan Open last year making her the first Taiwanese to win a Super Series title.

Despite her achievements, the Kaohsiung native remains very much down-to-earth and prefers to enjoy her time on court especially when she engages in long gruelling matches.

“I try not to think too much about my achievements and the breakthroughs I have made because I just love getting on court,” said Tzu Ying.

“Playing on court is the best time of my life and it really makes me feel alive. In fact I’m most happy when I’m involved in a long taxing match.”

Meanwhile, the teen sensation, has been in sparkling form in the Malaysian Open after dishing out several impressive performances including knocking out two-time champion Tine Baun of Denmark in the quarter-finals.

“It is quite surprising that I’ve done so well here, especially against Tine because I was expecting her to beat me flat,” said Tzu Ying.

Yesterday, the fearless Tzu Ying once again put up another impressive performance to beat top seed Saina Nehwal of India 22-20, 21-14.

She faces Chinese qualifier Yao Xue, who overcame South Korea’s Bae Youn-joo 21-15, 21-18, in today’s final.

“In fact I’ve never really done well in Malaysia in the past as it has always been first round exits for me. By reaching the final here I’m actually very happy because I do not need to rush back to Taiwan for the national tournament.”

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