By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The Nation Weekend
The second-seeded mixed doubles partnership displayed superior skills to subdue their opponents 21-16 21-14 in just 39 minutes in front of 200 cheering officers from the Royal Thai Air Force.
Seeking their first home title together, the Thai pair are back at the Masters for the first time since losing the 2017 final, their best attempt together at home. Sapsiree was forced to skip last year’s event due to a knee injury.
“The opening game was a bit tough as we had to adjust to our game plan. But after we settled down, things went pretty much our way,” said Sapsiree, whose only home crown was in the women’s doubles with Puttita Supajirakul at the 2016 Thailand Open.
“The [air-conditioning] draught made it a bit uneasy to hit. You have to control your shots well under these conditions,” said Dechapol, whose only win with Sapsiree came at the 2017 Swiss Open.
Up next for them are compatriots Niphitphon Puangphupet and Savitree Amitrapai, who moved past Parinyawat Thongnuam and Kittipak Dubthuk 21-16 21-19 in an all-Thai duel.
“At least a Thai team is guaranteed a spot in the final – we’d love to be that duo as we want to win at home,” said Sapsiree.
In the women’s singles quarter-finals, sixth seed and last year’s losing finalist Pornpawee Chochuwong beat Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-15 21-12.
In the men’s singles eighth seed Lu Guangzu of China beat Firman Abdul Kholik of Indonesia 21-15 21-17.