World Tour Finals: Tai Succumbs to Chochuwong

Mild-mannered Pornpawee Chochuwong continued to throw up surprises for her home crowd, with the 23-year-old claiming her second big victim at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020.

Chochuwong’s senior Ratchanok Intanon also enjoyed a successful day, beating Pusarla V Sindhu, but home fans had some disappointment when high-flying pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, on a winning streak of 11 matches and two titles, crash-landed in their second group match.

Chochuwong followed up on her upset of Intanon yesterday with an even more impressive takedown of Tai Tzu Ying, her first victory over the world No.1 in four matches. The world No.13 Thai will next face Pusarla, who she beat at their last meeting in September 2019.

“I’d lost to her four or five times but today I controlled myself and was confident about my shots,” said Chochuwong.

“It is so important for me that I managed to beat Ratchanok and Tai Tzu Ying. I was not nervous, I was quite excited today. Everyone thought she would beat me. I just had to stay in the rally and attack whenever I got an opening. After losing the first game, she played faster in the second game, but that also led to her making a lot of mistakes. I just had to try my best and follow her speed.”

Tai acknowledged that her mistakes had cost her the match.

“I made a lot of mistakes and couldn’t control the game. I felt tired also and that affected my performance,” said the world No.1.

Things didn’t go the way of Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai.

Puavaranukroh and Taerattanachai had beaten Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yujung the last five times. The Thais had leads in both games today, but lost their way at the end, 21-17 21-17.

“This time they adjusted their gameplan, which we could not conquer,” said Puavaranukroh. “We need to look at our game and find some points to fix.”

Intanon had to weather a stiff challenge from Pusarla in the opening game before cruising home in the second, 21-18 21-13.

“Yesterday was a tough day for me and today I felt I could play well. I tried to play how I expected today and stay calm. I think Sindhu played her best today. We both lost our first matches, so today was important for us both and I really wanted to focus. I just want to keep going and focus on winning point by point,” Intanon said.

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