World No. 1 Tzu-ying not surprised that she’s finally beaten

  • Badminton
  • Saturday, 04 Aug 2018

He Bingjiao of China celebrates after beating Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan in their womans singles match during the badminton World Championships in Nanjing, Jiangsu province on August 3, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE

WORLD No. 1 women’s singles shuttler Tai Tzu-ying is only human after all.

The 24-year-old Taiwanese was finally beaten in her 32nd match which also put an end to hopes of a maiden world title.

Backed by the strong home support, China’s He Bingjiao (pic) rose to the occasion to beat Tzu-ying 21-18, 7-21, 21-13 for her first win over her nemesis in seven matches at the Youth Olympic Sports Park Arena yesterday.

It was only Tzu-ying’s second defeat of the year after losing to Ratchanok Intanon in the final of the Malaysian Masters in January. She has played 37 matches in total.

Tzu-ying was not disheartened despite not being able to extend her winning streak further.

The defeat came just a day after she erased China’s Li Xuerui’s 30-match unbeaten streak recorded in 2012.

“That’s just another match for me, it’s no big deal,” said Tzu-ying.

“All my rivals are out to beat me. So they must have prepared very well to play against me.

“So it came as no surprise that I lost.

“But I’ve said from the start – I’m prone to making mistakes lately. In the third game (against Bingjiao), I made so many unforced errors and paid the price.”

As for Bingjiao, the win over Tzu-ying made her only the second player besides Ratchanok to beat Tzu-ying since last October.

“Actually, I didn’t think I had a chance of winning the match – not even at the final stage of the game,” said Bingjiao, who lost six on the trot against Tzu-ying – including the final of the Malaysian Open in June.

“Even if I’m leading 19-10, I never feel safe. This is because she has the ability to win points with ease.

“Playing against Tzu Ying has always been my target. It’s just unbelievable that I was finally able to beat her,” added the southpaw.

Bingjiao will continue carrying her nation’s hopes of reclaiming the women’s singles crown after four editions. She faces two-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain in today’s last four.

Marin crushed 2015 runner-up Saina Nehwal of India 21-6, 21-11.

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