(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Preview: Women’s Singles
Date: 1/11/2021 10:43 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
We are all systems go for tomorrow’s Thailand Open, but who will reign supreme in the women’s singles? 

On paper, the world number one, Tai Tzu Ying, is all alone as the top contender, with absences from the three women behind her in the rankings. However, there are plenty of players who can mount a strong challenge. 

Notably, Thailand’s very own Ratchanok Intanon is at world number four and seeking her third title here following wins in 2013 and 2017. Her first-round opponent is Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min and with two one-sided wins against her in 2019, Intanon is hoping to advance. 

Waiting for her in round two could be the SaarLorLux Open finalist, Germany’s Yvonne Li, who should surpass her first-round opponent Hadia Hosny, Egypt. This would repeat the second-round meeting between Li and Intanon at the 2019 Thailand Open, where the Thai star won 21-13, 21-9. 

Silver to Gold
Reigning Olympic Champion, Carolina Marin, comes into the tournament as the number five seed but will know that this is a great opportunity to get that title win which alluded her in 2020. Marin reached three World Tour finals last year but came up short in each. One of the finals was a narrow loss against Intanon at the Indonesia Masters. 

Marin faces France’s Qi Xuefei, whom she defeated in the quarterfinal at the SaarLorLux Open. Avoiding a seeded opponent in the quarterfinal, the Spaniard faces the semifinal prospect of two tough opponents for her in recent years, Ratchanok Intanon or Korea’s An Se Young.
In at the deep end
With competitive play being few and far between in recent months, players would have been hoping for a lighter opening round to ease their way into things. This is not to be for Mia Blichfeldt, as she faces World Champion, P.V. Sindhu. Despite the tall Indian holding a 3-0 head-to-head, the matches have been well-fought between the two of them and will be one of the matches to watch tomorrow. 

The winner will face the victor of USA’s Iris Wang and Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt. Wang, who has been training in Denmark at Badminton Europe’s Centre of Excellence, will take some confidence from her win six years ago against her opponent at the Swiss Open, although they both are very different players today.

Play starts tomorrow! 

For the full draw and fixtures, click here.

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