Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon downs Indian star Sindhu

BANGKOK (AFP) – Former world number one Ratchanok Intanon landed a crucial victory over Indian star PV Sindhu at badminton’s World Tour Finals in Bangkok yesterday.

It was a double victory for Thailand’s hopes, as 13th-seed Pornpawee Chochuwong also booked a semi-final spot after a shock win over Taiwan top-ranked Tai Tzu-ying.

Intanon trailed for most of the first game against Sindhu, but showed a ballerina’s footwork and killer instinct to take it 21-18.

The 25-year-old Thai claimed the match taking the second game 21-13.

“I just want to keep going and focus on winning, point-by-point,” Intanon said afterwards.

“It wasn’t my day,” said Sindhu.

“Losing the first game made the difference. My timing was a bit off, so a bit disappointed.”

Both players were coming off an initial loss in the round-robin tournament; Tai beat Sindhu, the Rio Olympics silver medallist, in a three-game thriller on Wednesday.

Chochuwong upset fifth seed Intanon in three games on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Chochuwong, 22, went into her match having never won a game against Tai in previous encounters, but won 21-17, 21-11 in 37 minutes.

Earlier, Carolina Marin – looking for a hat-trick of titles – marched towards a swift victory over Canada’s 10th-ranked Michelle Li 21-16, 21-13.

“I think I keep getting better and better,” Marin said.

In the men’s singles, Taiwan’s 12th-ranked Wang Tzu-wei was victorious over India’s 14th-seed Srikanth Kidambi in a three-game match that lasted 78 minutes, finishing 19-21, 21-9, 21-19.