Top-ranked Tai edges PV Sindhu at badminton tour finals

BANGKOK (AFP) – World number one Tai Tzu-ying fought back from behind to beat Indian star PV Sindhu in three games at badminton’s World Tour Finals in Bangkok yesterday.

The 26-year-old lost the first game 19-21 against Sindhu, the Rio Olympics silver-medallist, before regrouping to win it 19-21, 21-12, 21-17 in 59 minutes.

“It was a good match, there were no easy points,” said Tai, who will face another tough assignment in her second round-robin match against Thailand’s former world champion Ratchanok Intanon.

Elsewhere Carolina Marin, looking for her third straight trophy of badminton’s three-tournament restart, held in a biosecure “bubble”, dispatched Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya 21-19, 21-14 in 40 minutes.

“The first game was tough after winning two back-to-back titles,” said the reigning Olympic champion.

“Sometimes for your mindset, it’s tough to be ready again for a new week, a new match and a new tournament.”

The delayed 2020 season finale, starting yesterday, is the third behind-closed-doors tournament in three weeks in Bangkok as badminton resumes after months of coronavirus cancellations.

The top eight players in each discipline are contesting this week’s tournament, although China and Japan had to pull out because of coronavirus problems.

Despite the strict arrangements, four people inside the tournament “bubble” have tested positive.