Laid-back Ying lets her personality do the talking

Taiwan's Tai Tzu Ying returns a shot to Japan's Sayaka Takahashi (not pictured) during their women's single badminton match at the Gyeyang Gymnasium during the 17th Asian Games, in Incheon September 24, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Tai Tzu Ying may not consider herself to be "unique" despite receiving letters of praise from heads of state, but the Taiwanese can lay claim to being one of the most promising and laid-back players in women's badminton.

To get a sense of her personality, the "funny, chatty and quirky" 20-year-old from Chinese Taipei admits she did not even know she was seeded for the All-England Championships.

The world number seven, however, has been making a name for herself at quite a rate since 2009, having been forced to take a year out from the game following a wrist injury.

Ying was thrust into the national squad for the first time in 2010 and in the same year, ranked world number 122, reached the Singapore Open final, only to be beaten by Saina Nehwal of India.

"I never have a goal in tournaments. If I achieve a result, then great, but if not I just move on," she said.

"I play to have fun and it's helped to develop my game. I don't think about the match or the actual result. If I play freely, I can keep calm."

Ying, whose career has been combined with studying sports science at university in Taipei, made the last 16 of the London 2012 Olympics where she was beaten by eventual champion Li Xuerui.

She won her first Superseries title, aged 18, at the Japan Open a few months later, but she laughs when recalling the victory, admitting that not many of the world's best were there post-Olympics.

After winning her first BWF Superseries Finals in December, Ying received a congratulatory note from Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou that "felt good but wasn't really that exciting".

"It's not because I am unique, I am just lucky," she said.

With a top-10 berth secure, the road to the Rio 2016 Olympics looks bright for the Taiwanese, whose career was forged thanks to her father, who played at amateur level.

"Being a leading player now I feel the pressure," she said. "But my personality will hopefully keep me relaxed."

(Editing by Michael Hann)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Badminton

Taiwan pair are the ones to beat now, says Aaron
Five cows, a house and more than RM1mil for Indonesian shuttlers
Legends Lin Dan and Chong Wei get analytical over Zii Jia’s display
The fear of each other kept Lin Dan-Chong Wei rivalry great
Windfall for bronze medallists after solid outing
We are not there yet, says Choong Hann after missing out on gold again
Axelsen ends Long wait, Polii-Rahayu scores a first in doubles
Aaron-Wooi Yik acknowledge Morten and Looi Academy’s contribution
Axelsen in tears after ending Denmark's 25-year wait for Olympics gold
Indonesia celebrate as Greysia-Apriyani break Chinese stronghold for historic gold

Stories You'll Enjoy