Taiwan's Tai defeats world's No. 2 to reach Malaysia Open final

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Badminton champion Tai Tzu-ying.

Badminton champion Tai Tzu-ying. (By Central News Agency)

Taiwan badminton star Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) defeated world No. 2 Chinese player Chen Yufei (陳雨菲) in 34 minutes Saturday to advance to the final of the 2019 Malaysia Open.

After taking the first game 21-14, the world No. 1 led 16-11 but made several mistakes and found herself down 17-18 in the second game, before rallying to win 21-19.

Tai leads in the head-to-head between the two players, but 21-year-old Chen defeated Tai in the final of the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships 21-17, 21-17 last month.

After exacting revenge in the semi-finals, Tai now has a chance to score a hat trick of victories in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Tai's victory in the quarterfinals against Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand guaranteed the Taiwanese player will keep her top spot in the rankings for the 122nd week on Monday, equaling the second longest run as world's No. 1 women's singles badminton player. (By Chu Hsiang-ping and Chi Jo-yao)