Ratchanok reaches badminton semi-finals
Mixed doubles stars Dechapol and Sapsiree also advance at Thailand Open
published : 22 Jan 2021 at 20:25
Hometown favorite Rathhanok Intanon will face top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan in the semi-finals of the Toyota Thailand Open on Saturday after defeating Pusarla V Sindhu on Friday.
The Thai fourth seed needed just 38 minutes to dispatch her sixth-seeded Indian rival in straight sets (21-13, 21-9) in their women’s singles quarter-final at Impact Arena at Muang Thong Thani.
Mixed doubles stars Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, winners of the Yonex Thailand Open last Sunday, also advanced to the semi-finals on Friday.
They defeated Kim So Yeong and Kong He Yong of South Korea 21-17, 21-13 in their quarter-final encounter. The top-seeded Thai pair, who are ranked third in the world, will move on to face the unseeded Indian duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy And Ashwini Ponnappa on Saturday, who are ranked 36th.
Earlier in the day, Spanish fifth seed and former world number one Carolina Marin sailed through to the women’s semis, beating Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit 21-6, 21-15.
The 27-year-old Spaniard, ranked sixth in the world, is aiming for back-to-back titles in this week’s tournament — the second of three consecutive events in Bangkok that culminate in next week’s World Tour Finals.
She came out on top last week against top-seeded Tai, and continued her winning streak on Friday — despite Yigit holding a brief lead in the second set.
“I wanted to keep going, keep fighting and keep the focus on what I needed to do, even when Yigit was leading,” said Marin.
Marin will face off on Saturday against South Korean An Se-young, a formidable teenager who was awarded “Most Promising Player” in 2019.
They already duelled in last week’s tournament, with the more experienced Marin winning in a quick 21-18, 21-16 match.
The 18-year-old, ranked ninth in the world, said she would need to up her mental game in preparation for their showing on Saturday.
“If I want to win against Marin, I need to focus more than last time and have more confidence,” An said, after she disposed of Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong in a 21-15, 21-18 match full of smashes and attacks.