Taipei--Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying (???), the world's top-ranked women's singles badminton player, eased past Sayaka Sato of Japan on Friday to reach the semifinals of the 2017 World BWF Super Series Singapore Open Badminton Championship.
After beating the world No. 17 21-14, 21-19 in just 34 minutes, Tai, who has yet to lose in a women's single event this year, said she was able to maintain her normal standard of play and hoped to continue the momentum in the next match.
Asked about being tested by Sato in the second game, Tai said she wasn't thinking about that and simply wanted to steady herself and get the match over quickly.
Looking ahead to Saturday's match against Beiwen Zhang of the United States, who upset third-seeded Akane Yamaguchi of Japan on Friday, Tai said she would be focused on limiting her errors.
She said that as long as she keeps her mistakes in check, she has a good chance against anybody no matter who the opponent is because it's easy to drop points or fall behind when you make mistakes.
Tai has benefited in Singapore from being in a favorable half of the draw, and she will not have to face a seeded player until the finals, if she gets that far.
In the other half of the draw, the second, fourth, fifth and sixth seeds all reached the quarterfinals.
But Tai did not need favorable draws to reach her world No. 1 status in December and keep a hold on it since then.
Tai battled past the second- and third-ranked players in the world last week to win the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open last week, after winning the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships in March and titles in Hong Kong in Dubai late last year.
She will be heavily favored against Zhang on Saturday.
In the mixed doubles in Singapore, Taiwan's Lee Chia-hsin (???) and Wang Chi-lin (???) lost to Kim Gi Jung and Shin Seung Chan of South Korea 21-13, 21-11.
In men's doubles, Taiwan's Lee Jhe-huei (???) and Lee Yang (??), ranked 10th in the world, lost to the world No. 1 team of Markus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia, 21-16, 21-14 in 27 minutes.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel