Tai wins nation’s first BWF World Superseries Finals


CNA

TAIPEI — Tai Tzu-ying (�����o) breezed past her South Korean opponent Sunday to become the first Taiwanese to win the Badminton World Federation’s World Superseries Finals.

Tai, who is ranked ninth in the world, beat world No. 5 Sung Ji Hyun in two straight games (21-17, 21-12) in the final match in Dubai late in the day and walked away with US$80,000 in prize money.

The easy win came as a surprise to her as she thought she had only a 50-percent chance of coming out on top, Tai said after winning the title at the US$1 million tournament.

Until then, Tsai and Sung had each won four of their eight previous encounters. Six of those matches went to three games.

Tsai said that while she was not able to place the shuttlecock precisely where she wanted it every time, the 23-year-old Sung did not play her best and made several costly mistakes.

Tai’s coach Lee Wei-jen (������) said, however, that she had won because of her overpowering dominance from the start.

In the first game, Tai quickly surged to a 11-3 lead and Sung’s counterattack fell short. In the next game, the closest Sung got to a comeback was an early tie at 3-3.

After that, Tai never looked back and won the game with a bigger margin than in the first one.

The 5-day year-end tournament began Dec. 17 in Dubai among invited competitors, who were the eight top players with the best overall performance in the BWF Superseries during the past year.