The trio is among a contingent of six locals that also features Thai No 2 Pornpawee Chochuwong and women’s doubles team Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai, selected among the world’s top eight players and pairings with best results from nine manditory tournaments for the 2020 season finale.
Thai No 1 Ratchanok has been drawn in group B alongside countrywoman Pornpawee, world No 1 Tai Tzu-ying and defending champion PV Sindhu of India. The world No 5 Thai is targeting a semi-finals place to match her performance in the Guangzhou edition three years ago.
“Reaching the semis is always my goal whenever I compete in a World Tour Finals. Every match will be tough as only the best players qualify,” said Ratchanok, who is scheduled to face Pornpawee in the first group match on Wednesday.
“All players in this tournament are tough. I have to take it one match at a time and leave all my effort out there to reach my target,” she added.
Group A’s top seed is Carolina Marin of Spain, fresh from winning back-to-back Thailand Opens. She goes up against South Korea’s rising star An Se-young, Canada’s Michelle Li and Evgeniya Kosetskaya from Russia.
The men’s singles features a “group of death”, with Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, also a double Thailand Open winner, facing world No 2 Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan, Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia and the big-hitting Antony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia.
Group B features Anders Antonsen of Denmark, Wang Tzu-wei of Taiwan, Srikanth Kidamb of India and Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong.
In the mixed doubles, Dechapol and Sapsiree are heavy favourites after clinching Thailand Open I and II titles. They go into group A with top seeds Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of England. The Thai pair will play Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesia in their opening match.
Published : January 26, 2021
By : THE NATION