Taiwan’s Tai clinches third All England Open badminton title

Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) / CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) clinched her third women’s singles title Sunday at the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships 2020.

The second-seeded world No. 2 Tai triumphed over top seed, current world No. 1 and defending champion Chen Yufei of China in straight sets 21-19, 21-15 in a final that lasted 44 minutes.

The win secured the 25-year-old Kaoshiung native her third title at the event, making her the first Taiwanese shuttler to win three. She first won in 2017 and again in 2018 before losing to Chen in 2019.

At the beginning of the match Tai trailed Chen 2-6 before scoring four straight points to bring the scores level.

Known for her unpredictable and versatile style of play, Tai sent the shuttle flying around the court with disguised drops to keep Chen, who had been returning well, away from the net, as she narrowly won the first game 21-19.

The scores were again neck-and-neck in the second game as Chen held on, waiting for Tai to make mistakes.

However, after the scores reached 10-10, Tai found another gear, winning 10 of the next 15 points and bringing her to match point at 20-15. A shot by Chen then fell wide, securing Tai her third All England Open title.

Don’t dare look away!

Edge-of-your-seat action from戴資穎/ Tai Tzu Ying and Chen Yu Fei 🏸Catch the action LIVE on http://badmintonworld.tv#HSBCBWFbadminton #HSBCRaceToGuangzhou #AllEnglandOpen2020 #YAE20 #WorldTour

Posted by BWF — Badminton World Federation on Sunday, March 15, 2020

The latest win also improved Tai’s head-to-head record against Chen to 15-3. The last time the two faced off was in the final at the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2020 in January, where Tai suffered a straight games defeats.

In an interview after the game, Tai said she is very excited to be back at the All England Open and is familiar with Chen’s style because the two have played each other so many times.

“She (Chen) has always been a consistent player, whereas I tend to make relatively more errors. Playing against her gives me pressure, but luckily today I was able to control the rallies,” Tai said.

She also thanked the fans in English for their support and expressed how happy she was to play in England.

Considered one of the oldest and most prestigious badminton tournaments, the Yonex All England Open 2020, a top-tier BWF Super 1000 event, carried a total purse of US$1.1 million (NT$33.14 million) and was held March 11-15 at Arena Birmingham in England.