Taipei, World top-ranked badminton player Tai Tzu-ying (???) of Taiwan beat her Chinese American rival in two straight games in her first match of the World Tour Finals organized by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in Guangzhou, China Wednesday.
Tai knocked out Zhang Beiwen 21-15 and 21-17 in the 30-minute match, winning her a ticket to the next round of the BWF year-end event, which is being held in the southern Chinese city Dec. 12-16 with a purse of US$1.5 million.
The 24-year-old Tai has had a generally successful season this year with eight champion trophies and two silver medals in women's singles in BWF tournaments. She also won Taiwan's first gold medal in the badminton women's singles event of the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
Moreover, she set a new record for ranking points in a 52-week period, racking up 101,667 points to beat the 101,644 held by China's Li Xuerui for 2014.
Tai has been at the top of the world rankings since Dec. 1, 2016, except for two weeks in April this year.
If she manages to defend her women's singles title in the World Tour Finals, she will be the world's first player to keep the title for three years in a row.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese duo Chen Hung-ling (???) and Wang Chi-ling (???) defeated compatriots Su Ching-heng (???) and Liao Min-chun (???) 21-17 and 21-16 in the men's doubles.
The Chen-Wang team are ranked fourth in the global rankings for men's doubles.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channels