Photo credit: Tang Shi
Since claiming the Asian Games title in August, world number one Tai Tzu Ying has had two early exits in Japan and China. This is to be revenged as the Taiwanese is big favorite on home soil at Chinese Taipei Open.
Tai Tzu Ying had an explosive start of the year when she won five tournaments back to back after losing her first final of the year at the Malaysia Masters. Among the five titles are All England and the Asian Championships. The last title she won was at the Asian Games and now it’s time for the World Tour Super 300 tournament in her own backyard. Tai lost in second round at Japan Open and first round of China Open so she has something to revenge now.
At Chinese Taipei Open the world number one is obviously top seeded and if all goes as the seedings predict, she is likely to have Canadian opponent in the final. Michelle Li, who has been struggling a bit after coming back from injuries, is second seeded. She is chasing her second title of the year after claiming her third individual Pan Am Championship title in April.
Just one seeded European
In the top half of the women’s single draw we see Tai Tzu Ying accompanied by two other seeded Taiwanese. Lee Chia Hsin is seeded 6 and is likely for face Tai in the quarterfinal, while the other quarterfinal is expected to be a battle between Pai Yu Po (4) and Soniia Cheah (7) from Malaysia.
Europe’s only seeded entry has been placed in the lower half of the draw with Michelle Li. That is Line Højmark Kjærsfeldt from Denmark who is seeded 3. Kjærsfeldt is still waiting for her first international title of the year but has two bronze medals from Spain so far. One from the European Championships held in Huelva, the native city of Carolina Marín, and one from Spain Masters in Barcelona.
New podium girls this year
Li and Kjærsfeldt are competing with Yip Pui Yin (5) and Fitriani Fitriani (8) for the desired spot in the final. Saena Kawakami who won the Chinese Taipei Open last year but is not in Taipei City to defend her title. And this year we will for sure have minimum three new names on the podium next Sunday as only one semifinalist from 2017 is playing this year. That is Haruko Suzuki from Japan.
The draw for the seeded players:
Tai Tzu Ying, Chinese Taipei (1) vs. Vu Thi Trang B., Vietnam
Liang Ting Yu, Chinese Taipei vs. Michelle Li, Canada (2)
Qualification Q3 vs. Line Højmark Kjærsfeldt, Denmark (3)
Pai Yu Po, Chinese Taipei (4) vs. Dinar Dyah Ayustine, Indonesia
Nuntakarn Aimsaard, Thailand vs. Yip Pui Yin, Hong Kong (5)
Lee Chia Hsin, Chinese Taipei (6) vs. Asuka Takahashi, Japan
Soniia Cheah, Malaysia (7) vs. Mugdha Agrey, India
Lin Hsiang Ti, Chinese Taipei vs. Fitriani Fitriani, Indonesia (8)