Thai pair gun for hat-trick of Bali titles

Thai pair gun for hat-trick of Bali titles

Dechapol Puavaranukroh (right) and Sapsiree Taerattanachai win again, this time at the HSBC World Tour Finals at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani on Jan 31, 2021. (File photo from Badminton Association of Thailand)
Dechapol Puavaranukroh (right) and Sapsiree Taerattanachai win again, this time at the HSBC World Tour Finals at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani on Jan 31, 2021. (File photo from Badminton Association of Thailand)

Thai mixed doubles duo Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai began this year by winning the last three events of the 2020 season, including the World Tour Finals, in three consecutive weeks on home soil in January.

The duo hope to cap their impressive year in similar fashion with a hat-trick of victories in Bali.

Having won the Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open in the previous two weeks, Dechapol and Sapsiree will try to be crowned champions at the 2021 World Tour Finals which begin today at the same venue.

The Thais have already won three successive titles with their triumph in Germany ahead of the Bali events.

The World Tour Finals feature eight players/pairs in five events with the top two players/pairs in each group reach the semi-finals.

Following Tuesday's draw, Dechapol and Sapsiree will be challenged by England's Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith, Hong Kong's Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet, who lost to the Thais in the Indonesia Masters final, and home stars Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti in Group B.

In Group A are Japan's Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino, who were defeated by the Thai pair in the Indonesia Open final, Denmark's Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Boje, and Malaysian pairs Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing and Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying.

In the women's singles, Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong, reigning world champion Pusarla V Sindhu of India, Germany's Yvonne Li and Denmark's Line Christophersen will face off in Group A.

Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan takes on Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, An Se-Young from South Korea, and Singapore's Yeo Jia Min in Group B.

Thailand's top female player Ratchanok Intanon missed out on a place in the Finals as each country can only have a maximum two players/pairs in each event.

In the men's singles, Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn is in Group B with Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia, France's Toma Junior Popov, and India's Srikanth Kidambi. In Group A are Denmark's Victor Axelsen and Ramus Gemke, Japan's Kento Momota, and India's Lakshya Sen.

The other Thais in the tournament are women's doubles duo Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.

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