Tai Tzu Ying hit the high notes last year, but her season since then has not quite justified her prodigious talent.
With her victories in Hong Kong and the Dubai World Superseries Finals late last year, 2015 promised to be her year. It hasn’t quite turned out that way as she has struggled with consistency. Her second loss yesterday meant that her hopes of defending her title in Dubai faded.
She started the year well with a semi-final placing at the All England, followed by a first-round loss in Malaysia. Then came her high point of the year – a final at the Singapore Open, which she lost to China’s Sun Yu after holding three match points. She had a great opportunity to claim a BWF World Championships medal, with six match points against Indonesia’s Lindaweni Fanetri in the quarter-finals. That she blew them does not weigh heavily on her mind; she appears able to quickly put these setbacks behind her.
“I’m not really disappointed that I haven’t been able to win a title this year,” she says. “I’m happy with my game and I have no plans to change it. Maybe I need to get a bit more consistent. The loss in the World Championships doesn’t hurt now; I don’t really think about it.”
Tai admits, though, that players like Carolina Marin have set a high standard physically that has the others struggling to catch up.
“Marin is tall, powerful and left-handed, so she’s a hard player to face. I would say she has set a very high standard.”
Nevertheless, the Chinese Taipei star is happy with where she stands; her happy-go-lucky attitude has stood her in good stead through her good times and she has no plans to change the way she plays.
“I’ve been playing well, but I’ve been running into strong opponents,” said Tai. “I’m also considered one of the strong players, but it’s not like last year when I was able to win titles. I’ve just been able to maintain my ranking. I injured my foot in Hong Kong and that’s troubled me here in Dubai. I do believe next year will be better.”