A day after beating Taiwan’s world No 1 Tai Tzu-ying for her biggest career win, Pornpawee Chochuwong was outplayed by VP Sindhu of India 21-18 21-15 but still finished top of group B. She will be joined by Tai, who fought back from behind to beat Thai No 1 Ratchanok 23-25 21-12 21-9.
“Sindhu had a perfect game plan for me. She played a style completely opposite to mine. … She was so sharp today,” admitted Chonburi-born Pornpawee, 23.
“I need to gain top form back and be ready for this,” the Thai said of Saturday’s semi-final, where she faces Spain’s Carolina Marin fresh from back-to-back titles here earlier this month.
Thailand is also represented in the women’s doubles semi-finals after Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai beat Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich of Germany 21-13 21-14. They finished second in group B behind Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong of South Korea.
Local mixed-doubles hopes Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai also advanced with a 21-12 21-11 win over top pair Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of England. The Thais finished second in group A behind Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yoo-jung of South Korea.
Ratchanok failed to match her best World Finals performance of a semi-final back in 2018.
“I tried to rush my play and ended up missing several shots. I lost confidence and couldn’t think straight out there,” said the downbeat Thai ace.
Meanwhile, rising star An Se-young of South Korea snapped the winning streak of Spain’s Marin, beating the Olympic gold medallist in their final group A match.
An learned her lesson from losing two semi-finals to eventual Thailand Open I and II champion Marin, turning the tables on the Spaniard to win 21-16 14-21 21-19. However, advanced to the last four after An topped the group and Marin came in second.
“I’m really happy as I have shed a lot of tears here,” said the 18-year-old from Gwangju. “It’s a good feeling and I can't describe it in words. It feels like I was able to respond to those cheering for me, and I’m happy with that.”
“Marin had to much power and speed to handle in our first and second match [Thailand Open I and II]. Today I kept trying to control it until the end, and focused on each shot, one by one,” added the five-time BWF World Tour winner.
In men’s singles, world No 12 Wang Tzu Wei upset world No 3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark 21-11 21-19 to top group B with three wins from three matches. Antonsen ended with two wins and one loss also advances to the semis.
In group A, red-hot Viktor Axelsen scored his third win in three weeks over world No 2 Chou Tien Chen with a 21-10 21-14 victory. The Dane and the Taiwanese proceed to the last four as group winner and runner-up respectively.
Published : January 29, 2021
By : THE NATION