Ratchanok Intanon / Badminton Photo
Ratchanok Intanon / Badminton Photo

World No 1 next for in-form Ratchanok

sports April 05, 2019 01:00

By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The Nation

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Red-hot Ratchanok Intanon extended her winning streak to 7-0 as she rallied to oust American Zhang Beiwen in the second round of the Malaysia Open on Thursday.



The former world No 1, who completed a hat-trick of India Open titles on Sunday, regathered her energy to win 23-25 21-14 21-16 after a tough 56-minute battle.

The world No 8, who was upset by Zhang at the China Open last September, had game point at 23-22 but a brief bout of nerves cost her the next three points and the opening game.

Ratchanok quickly regained her momentum, using her full repertoire of shots to repel the aggressive style of the former Singaporean national. She levelled the tie, then took full command in the deciding game, in which Zhang started missing easy shots.

The Thai No 1 next faces world No 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan in a mouth-watering quarter-final on Friday. Tai beat Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-16 21-14 to set up her 24th encounter with Ratchanok, who leads their head-to-heads 13-10.

Joining her in the last eight is Pornpawee Chochuwong, who dashed local hope and two-time world junior champion Go Jin Wei 21-6 12-21 21- 10.

On the men’s side, Kantaphon Wangcharoen tested defending Olympic gold medallist Chen Long early on but faded, going out 22-20 21-13.

 

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