Ratchanok and doubles duo make KL finals

Ratchanok and doubles duo make KL finals

Kunlavut loses men's semifinal to Japanese rival at Malaysia Open

Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon celebrates after winning her semifinal match against Wang Zhi Yi of China at the Malaysia Openin Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. (AFP Photo)
Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon celebrates after winning her semifinal match against Wang Zhi Yi of China at the Malaysia Openin Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. (AFP Photo)

KUALA LUMPUR: Ratchanok Intanon and the mixed doubles pair of Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai have battled through to the finals of the Malaysia Open badminton tournament, continuing Thailand’s strong run of form.

Eighth seed Ratchanok needed just 38 minutes to breeze past Wang Zhi Yi of China in straight sets, 21-8, 21-18, in her semifinal on Saturday. Dechapol and Sapsiree outlasted Wang Yi Liu and Huang Dong Ping 23-21, 19-21, 21-14 in a match that lasted an hour and a quarter.

However, Kunlavut Vitidsarn had less success in the men’s singles, as Kento Momota of Japan swept him aside 21-11, 21-12.

In Sunday’s final, Ratchanok will face Chen Yu Fei of China, who defeated Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan, 19-21, 21-13, 21-15.

Saturday’s win was redemption for Chen, who fell to Tai in the semifinals of the Indonesia Open, which the Taiwanese star went on to win last month.

Dechapol and Sapsiree, who lost their top world ranking after two successive first-round exits in Indonesia last month, appear to be returning to form in Kuala Lumpur. They are seeded first in the event and will face second-seeded Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong of China in Sunday’s final.



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