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Double celebration for Tai Tzu-ying as she lifts Hong Kong Open women’s singles title

Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan enjoyed a double celebration after clinching the women’s singles title at the US$400,000 Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open at the Coliseum in Hung Hom on Sunday

Her straight games 21-15, 21-17 victory over Pusala V. Sindhu of India in the final not only was sweet revenge after losing to the same Indian opponent at the Olympic Games this summer but also took her to the top of the world rankings, overtaking Rio champion Carolina Marin of Spain.

It was also Tai’s second Hong Kong Open title after winning here in 2014 when she defeated Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the final.

“My fans have kept telling me I might be able to get to the world number one spot in Hong Kong if I won the tournament but this is not my main concern,” said the champion. “I always emphasised the importance of enjoying the game as I did it today.

“Sindhu is tall and fast, and came to Hong Kong in great form as she won the China Open the previous week. Today she was really fast on the court but I was able to minimise my own mistakes and that’s why I probably won.”

Tai is the second Taiwanese world number one in badminton. Women’s doubles pair Cheng Wen-Hsing and Chien Yu-Chin also made it to the summit in 2009.

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Despite an exit in the round of 16 in the Rio Games, Tai, 22, is the most consistent player on tour, reaching six semi-finals out of a total 12 superseries for the year. She also was victorious in the Indonesia Open and gained two silver medals at the Malaysia and Denmark Opens.

She will also be leading the rankings for the Dubai superseries finals next month, but Tai won’t be setting any target despite a successful superseries campaign.

“I don’t like making any pre-event target as I always take it match by match, just like what I have done here in Hong Kong,” she said.

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In the mixed doubles, Indonesians Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, the Rio Olympic Games gold medallists, beat compatriots Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto in straight games in the final with a 21-19, 21-17 victory.