The world of badminton is witnessing many young guns making their mark in the international arena off late. One such player is Tai Tzu-ying, a 22-year-old badminton player from the country of Taiwan. Currently, she is the world no.1 in the women’s singles category. She has achieved the no. 1 ranking playing for Chinese Taipei. Let us know something more about her.
Early days of Tai’s career:
Tai’s father is a firefighter by profession. Along with that, he is the director of Kaohsiung city’s badminton committee. He likes to play badminton in his spare time. Tai started playing badminton in elementary school as a third grader. After winning the title in the nationwide second division game, she got access to participate in first division games. Thus Tzu-ying became the youngest player to compete in the first division.
Tai Tzu-ying entered the international circuit in the year 2009 at the age of 15. She won her first ever Super Series title at Japan Open in 2012 making history by becoming the youngest player to win a Super Series title then. Now she is only third after Ratchanok Intanon and Akane Yamaguchi respectively.
Further, Tai represented her country at the 2014 Asian Games and won Chinese Taipei’s first badminton medal by placing third. Following the Asian Games, she won the Hong Kong Open beating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in straight sets. Another feather in her cap was the title of Dubai Super Series where Tzu-ying extended her winning streak. Finally, she could clinch a gold medal for Chinese Taipei in the Super Series finals by beating Sung Ji-hyun in straight sets.
Though the year 2015 was a rough patch for Tai as she failed to win any title in that year. But she learned a lot from that experience and bounced back strongly in 2016. She bagged four trophies as a result of which she could finish off the year as a leader in the ranking charts. The tag of ‘World No. 1’ was added alongside her name. A dream come true for every player in his or her field of play.
Since then she has never looked back and has been improving her performance with each passing tournament.
Tzu-ying has won 13 titles so far in her career which are as follows:-
|Year||Tournament||Opponent in final||Score|
|2011||U.S. Open||Sayaka Sato||21–16, 19–21, 21–6|
|2012||Japan Open||Eriko Hirose||9–21, 21–9, 21–14|
|2012||Chinese Taipei Open||Lindaweni Fanetri||21–19, 20–22, 22–20|
|2012||World University Badminton Championship||Pai Hsiao-Ma||21–13 Retired|
|2013||Malaysia Open||Yao Xue||21–17, 21–14|
|2014||Hong Kong Open||Nozomi Okuhara||21–19, 21–11|
|2014||BWF Superseries Finals||Sung Ji-hyun||21–17, 21–12|
|2016||Indonesia Open||Wang Yihan||21–17, 21–8|
|2016||Chinese Taipei Open||Wang Shixian||23–21, 21–6|
|2016||Hong Kong Open||P. V. Sindhu||21–15, 21–17|
|2016||BWF Superseries Finals||Sung Ji-hyun||21–14, 21–13|
|2017||All England Open||Ratchanok Intanon||21–16, 22–20|
|2017||Malaysia Open||Carolina Marin||23–25, 22–20, 21–13|
|2017||Singapore Open||Carolina Marin||21–15, 21-15|
Tai has won the last five tournaments she has entered in, namely – Hong Kong, Dubai (in 2016), All-England Championship, Malaysia, and Singapore. Her unbeaten streak extends to 17 matches which giving the indication of the supreme form she is in at present.
This is what the World No. 1 had to say after her emphatic win over Carolina Marin in the Singapore Open recently,
“I think everyone around me is more concerned about these five titles. But for me, I just want to play well in every tournament.”
A long road ahead for Tai Tzu-ying:
The hunger to achieve more and becoming better as a player is visible from the above statement. She is not stopping anywhere near and will constantly work hard to achieve everything she can, especially the prestigious yellow metal at the Summer Olympic Games. At the age of 22, there is indeed a long road ahead for Tai Tzu-ying.