Ratchanok wins New Zealand Open for second title

Ratchanok wins New Zealand Open for second title

Ratchanok Intanon wais the crowd in this Bangkok Post file photo.
Ratchanok Intanon wais the crowd in this Bangkok Post file photo.

Ratchanok Intanon won the US$120,000 New Zealand Open on Sunday, beating Saena Kawakami in the hard-fought women's singles badminton final.

The 22-year-old top seed took the first game 21-14 before the Japanese fifth seed evened the match after winning the second game 21-16.

Ratchanok made sure of earning her second title of the year by beating her opponent in the decider by 21-15.

The Thai shuttler defeated Hama Ramadini of Indonesia on Saturday to book her place in the final. She has now won 14 titles at Grand Prix level or above.

Her first title this year came at the Thailand Open, a Grand Prix Gold tournament, in June. She will next represent the country in the BWF World Championships, which begin on Aug 21 in Glasgow, Scotland. 

"I came into this tournament as a warm-up for the World Championships," said Ratchanok after her victory. "Winning today gives me a psychological boost, and I will try to win back the title for Thai fans."

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