Taiwan's Tai reaches final of China Open badminton championship

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Badminton champion Tai Tzu-ying.

Badminton champion Tai Tzu-ying. (CNA photo)

Taiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) had to dig deep after dropping the first game to win her semifinal match at the China Open on Saturday.

The sixth-seed got off to a slow start, falling behind early and trailing 3-11 against world No. 2 Chen Yufei (陳雨菲) of China, before losing the game 6-21.

However, Tai rediscovered her rhythm in the second game, which she won 21-13.

In the third game, Tai maintained her momentum to lead 14-8, but Chen narrowed the gap to 18-16, and took the lead at 20-19.

It was then that Tai, who had a 12-1 head-to-head record against the Chinese player, dug deep and won the next three points to take the match 22-20.

Based on ranking points calculated by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), Tai could retake the world No. 1 position next week after reaching the tournament's final in Changzhou on Saturday.

She also has a chance to win her first China Open title.

The China Open is part of the BWF Super Series tournaments, and one of the three BWF World Tour Super 1000 events.

Tai, who is currently ranked world No. 4 after losing the top spot on July 30, next faces Spanish player Carolina Marin, who is also a former world No.1 and the reigning Olympic champion.

The final will be played on Sunday. (By Huang Chiao-wen and Ko Lin)