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The former world champion Ratchanok Intanon wins the Thailand Open on home soil as she thrashed Li Xuerui 22-20, 18-21, 21-14. Ratchanok is the first of Thailand winning the world title.
Ratchanok, ex-world number one and 2013 world title-holder beat the unseeded Chen 21-17, 21-15 to set up an all-Thai clash with Pornpawee Chochuwong, who beat Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan-Yi.
The Taiwanese third seed Chou Tien-Chen advanced with a comfortable 21-12, 21-16 victory over Kenta Nishimoto of Japan in a much-depleted men’s draw.
Kento Momota of Japan and China’s Shi Yuqi both withdrew, while Chinese greats Chen Long and Lin Dan were early casualties. They are both the world badminton number one and two with the world championships in Basel looming later this month.
Ratchanok Is Too Good at Thailand Open
Third seed Chou, 29, will play against Lee Zii Jia from Malaysia. The defending champion Kanta Tsuneyama faces Hong Kong’s Angus Ng or Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand.
Withdrawals have also hit the women’s tournament after last year players pulled out. Winner Nozomi Okuhara, world’s number one Akane Yamaguchi and Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu didn’t attend.
Top seed Chen Yufei cruised into a semi-final against Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi with a convincing straight-games win over Soniia Cheah of Malaysia.
Supporters Cheer at Thailand Open
Supporters cheer on Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon as she plays against China’s Chen Xiao Xin during their women’s singles quarter-final match at the Thailand Open Badminton tournament in Bangkok on August 2, 2019.
Text: AFP / Thailand Event Guide