Tai Tzu Ying hasn’t been in action since falling in a tremendous final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Coming into the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021 as top seed, the Olympic silver medallist will be looking to achieve something she has never done at previous editions of the World Championships – win a medal that has eluded her all along.
“I think I played well, I felt okay because since the Olympics I haven’t played a tournament,” said Tai, after beating Evgeniya Kosetskaya 21-10 21-14 to make the Round of 16.
“This is my first match since the Olympics. It’s true that I had a lot of time for rest. Mentally I feel I’m more relaxed. I saw all the other players playing in Bali and they were quite busy; I took the call not to play there because I knew it would be tiring.”
Until she won silver at Tokyo 2020, Tai hadn’t won a medal at either the Olympics or World Championships despite dominating the circuit over several seasons, and winning every other major title. The closest she came to medalling at the Worlds was in 2015, when she held six match points against Lindaweni Fanetri in the quarterfinals before losing her way.
“I hope I can make the breakthrough this time,” Tai said. “I will try my best and try to go as far as possible.”
In the 2019 edition, despite being in sparkling form, she was outplayed in the quarterfinals by eventual champion Pusarla V Sindhu in the match of the tournament.