Taiwan's Tai defeats world's No. 4 to reach Singapore Open final

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Tai Tzu-ying moves one step closer to the Singapore Open title.

Tai Tzu-ying moves one step closer to the Singapore Open title. (CNA photo)

Taiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) defeated world No. 4 Japanese player Akane Yamaguchi in the women's singles Saturday in 57 minutes to advance to the final of the 2019 Singapore Open.

After opening the first game with a 4-0 early lead, world No. 1 Tai made several mistakes when drifts affected her performance and cost her the first game 15-21.

However, she regained total control to beat Yamaguchi 24-22 and 21-19.

Tai and Yamaguchi had previously played each other 15 times, with Tai winning nine of those games.

The 24-year-old will now face former world champion and second-placed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in Sunday's final.

Tai, who did not play in the 2018 tournament, won the women's singles title in the 2017 tournament and a silver medal at the 2010 and 2015 competitions.

The 2019 Singapore Open, which takes place April 9-14 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, is a World Tour Super 500 event under the Badminton World Federation, with a total purse of US$355,000. (By Huang Tzu-chiang and Chung Yu-chen)