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Patriot’ Tai a tough nut to crack

DUBAI: “She has a six-pack body and even most men can’t match her fitness,” exclaimed one of India’s top men’s singles shuttler when asked about Tai Tzu Ying. The 23-year-old Chinese Taipei girl won five titles this year and is the No.1 in women’s singles since December 2016.

Tai Tzu, the most consistent shuttler, will be representing Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) this year. Indian girls PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have struggled to get past Tai Tzu. While Saina has a 5-8 win-loss record, Sindhu is 3-8. Since 2013 March, Saina failed to defeat Tai Tzu and lost six times. After beating Tai Tzu at the Olympics in August 2016, Sindhu lost to her four times consecutively. Despite having such a great record against Indians, Tai Tzu says that playing against Sindhu is very tough. “She is quite tall and strong. I always find it very tough to play against her. She is very fast on the court and packs her strokes with a lot of power,” Tai Tzu said about Sindhu.

But the daughter of a firefighter knows how to down Sindhu. “I make her move a lot on the court. I keep her busy by regularly hitting the shuttle to the corners,” she said. The 5 feet 4 inch girl has a unique playing style which many describe as unpredictable, offensive and spontaneous. With a lot of disguise she has the ability to hit the shuttle from any part of the court. But the key to her success is the way she stays so relaxed even while executing or facing ferocious smashes.

The Ahmedabad Smash Masters will be banking on her to pull off all the women’s singles matches in the PBL. Tai, who was not part of the first two editions of PBL is eagerly looking forward to the third edition which kicks off on Dec 23. “I am delighted to join PBL as it has a number of great professional players. It’s a very interesting league which will help in the development of badminton. I want to play well and give the best for my team,” she said.

Tai Tzu says that training and luck helped her win so many titles. “There is nothing special that I did. But training a lot regularly helped. I also think I am quite lucky to win so many titles,” said Tai Tzu, adding that her coach helps her with new ideas.

“My coach takes care of everything. He prepares a plan and gives me new ideas on how to tackle a particular player and the conditions,” added Tai, who is the only fifth player in history to win five Super Series titles in a year. A patriot to the core, Tai Tzu skipped the World Championships, when she was in top form, to play for the World university games. “I have no regrets, Worlds you can win next year. But university games was the biggest sporting event that my country had ever hosted. For me it is more important to be part of that,” she said.

Source : timesofindia



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Patriot’ Tai a tough nut to crack

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