Tzu Ying's hot streak makes her a firm favourite in Asian meet in Wuhan
*Credit Image : Edwin Leung
With five superseries titles in the bag Taiwan's Tai Tzu Ying is the hot favourite to add the Asian title to her growing list of success when she competes in the Wuhan City of Automobile Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, China from April 25-30.
The 22-year-old Tzu Ying, ranked No 1 in the world has not looked back after she bounced back from the disappointment of not getting a podium finish in last year's Rio Olympics. She lost to India's eventual silver medallist P.V. Sindhu in the Round of 16 in Rio.
Tzu Ying - never one to dwell on her failures - took the Rio disappointment in her stride and moved on - always maintaining that she has a "lot more to learn" and rectify her shortcomings in the game.
Topping the list of shortcomings is consistency and her footwork. Tzu Ying has been working hard in these disciplines and the rewards are flowing.
"I am not very consistent...and this my main drawback. I also need to improve on my footwork for the desired results."
Since grabbing the world No 1 after winning the Hong Kong Open in November (she beat Sindhu 21-15, 21-17 in the final) the Taiwanese lass, who stands only 1.63m tall, ended the 2016 season with a bang, defeating Korea's Sung Ji-hyun 21-14, 21-13 to win the BWF Superseries Finals in Dubai in December.
She took off from where she left in Dubai and continued her "winning trail" by winning the most sought after and prestigious All England title in Birmingham in March. It is her first All England title. The All England is the oldest badminton tournament in the world.
After skipping the India Open it was Tzu Ying's show in the Malaysia Open in Kuching where she fought a titanic 86-minute battle against reigning Olympic and world champion Carolina Marin of Spain to prevail 23-25, 22-20, 21-13.
There is no stopping Tzu Ying. Her next stop was Singapore and a repeat Tzu Ying-Marin final. The Taiwanese once again maintained her supremacy against the Spaniard with a much easier 21-15, 21-15 win for her fifth superseries title in a row. Tzu Ying now leads 5-4 in the head-to-head count.
The Kaohsiung-born Chinese Taipeinese lass, however, is not getting carried away with her recent spate of success and keeps reminding herself that she is still "in the learning process" to further improve her shuttle sport.
"I don't keep track of the number of titles I have won...it is my rivals or the media who keep telling me of my wins. I just want to play well in every tournament," says Tzu Ying, who will skip this year's World Championships in Glasgow in August.
Instead, Tzu Ying has made up her mind to compete in the world University Games (Universiade) which Taiwan will host during the same time as the world championships.
"The world championships is held every year but the Universiade is held once in four years.
Since my country is hosting the university games I have decided to skip the world championships," reiterates Tzu Ying.
On the personal front Tzu Ying won Taiwan's first badminton medal (bronze) in the Asian Games in 2014. She won her first superseries title in 2012 and this was the Japan Open. Her first international title was the US Open Grand Prix Gold in 2011.