Denmark Open, women’s singles final, as it happened: Tai Tzu beats Saina for 11th straight time
The world No 1 won 21-13, 13-21, 21-6 after 52 minutes.
World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying won her eighth title of the year after beating Saina Nehwal in three games in the final of the Denmark Open in Odense on Sunday.
The Taiwanese got the better of the Indian shuttler for the 11th straight time.
4.55 pm: That’s it from us, today, for this live blog. We’ve got another live blog running for the cricket match between India and West Indies here. Join us again next time.
4.42 pm: Here is what Tai Tzu Ying had to say after the final:
“I am thankful for the support I got here. I am very happy to be champion here for the first time. I just did what I used to. I tried to focus when I was down. She put me under a lot of pressure and I had to adjust.”
4.39 pm: Here are the two finalists with their medals, cheques, flowers and soft toys after the prize distribution ceremony.
Tai Tzu Ying wins 21-13, 13-21, 21-6
Saina tried her best to stop the Tai Tzy Ying Express but she had nothing left in her tank as the match entered the deciding game. Tai wins her eighth title of the year. This was also her 11th straight win against Saina.
Third game: Tai Tzu Ying 20-6 Saina Nehwal
Tai Tzu Ying brings out the reverse slice drop on the backhand. It’s obviously a winner. Match point.
Third game: Tai Tzu Ying 16-5 Saina Nehwal
Clever, deceptive badminton from Tai Tzu Ying as she continues to maintain a sizeable lead. She is back in control of this match, which seemed to be slipping away from her in the second game. She needs only five more points to win the title.
Third game: Tai Tzu Ying 14-4 Saina Nehwal
Another great rally between the two and Saina wins it as Tai hits the shuttle long. However, is the gap too much for Saina to make up?
Third game: Tai Tzu Ying 11-2 Saina Nehwal
Unfortunately for Indian fans, Saina seems to have run out of gas. Tai leads by nine points at the interval. She has won nine straight points.
Third game: Tai Tzu Ying 7-2 Saina Nehwal
Tai Tzu Ying has regained some of her composure and has got off to a good start in the deciding game. She’s just hit an unbelievable drop shot that gave Saina no chance. Saina needs to be careful here to not allow the Taiwanese to stretch her lead too much.
Saina Nehwal wins second game 21-13
Saina Nehwal wins the second game by the same margin she lost the first! Unbelievable turnaround, this! Game on!
Second game: Tai Tzu Ying 11-18 Saina Nehwal
Tai wins the best rally of the match so far as Saina misses what should have been a simple kill! Incredible! Can we have more of these rallies?
Second game: Tai Tzu Ying 9-16 Saina Nehwal
Saina continues to push Tai to the back of the court and is playing drops only when she is sure the Taiwanese cannot reach the shuttle. So flustered is Tai that she has, for the first time in recent memory, denied Saina a change of shuttle!
Second game: Tai Tzu Ying 5-11 Saina Nehwal
Tai Tzu Ying’s judgement falters on a couple of occasions near the baseline as Saina continues to attack her with smashes whenever she can. This time, it is the Indian’s turn to take a six-point advantage into the interval. This is some incredible badminton from the Indian. She is pumped up!
Second game: Tai Tzu Ying 3-8 Saina Nehwal
A brilliant cross-court half-smash stretches Saina’s lead to five points in this second game. Are we seeing a turnaround??
Second game: Tai Tzu Ying 2-5 Saina Nehwal
The second game begins with some great rallies and Saina seems to be in good spirits despite the demoralising loss in the first game. She has opened up a three-point lead. Can she hold on?
4 pm: “You’re playing well. Be disciplined.” – This is what P Kashyap had to say to Saina during the interval. Kashyap also advised Saina to not go for cross-court lifts and told her to keep the Taiwanese moving front and back.
Tai Tzu Ying wins first game 21-13
Tai Tzu Ying needs only 15 minutes to win the opening game. The accuracy of her back-hand and drop shots has been just incredible. Saina will have to play the game of her life to come out of this one victorious.
First game: Tai Tzu Ying 19-13 Saina Nehwal
Saina trying her best to match Tai’s court coverage but her reach is not as good as the world No 1. Tai’s drops have also been out of the world so far.
First game: Tai Tzu Ying 15-9 Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal is trying to push Tai Tzu Ying away from the net as much as possible but the Taiwanese is just too good at the moment. Her disguised shots are proving to be a bit too much for Saina.
First game: Tai Tzu Ying 11-5 Saina Nehwal
A second service error from Saina and some superb play at the net from Tai means the world No 1 has a six-point lead at the first break. It’s been only six minutes since the match started and Tai has already exerted her dominance.
First game: Tai Tzu Ying 6-2 Saina Nehwal
Tai has already started dictating the pace of this match and looks in prime form. Saina gets off to a rusty start with a service error and a couple of shots that land wide.
3.40 pm: Indian badminton fans don’t need to be reminded, but here is what happened the last 10 times Saina Nehwal met Tai Tzu Ying:
3.37 pm: The two finalists have just entered the arena. We are moments away from the start of the match.
3.30 pm: Some interesting trivia:
3.20 pm: Here is what Saina Nehwal said about her form after beating Tunjung in the semis:
“She is a good, upcoming player so I was prepared for her. I am happy to beat so many top players here. I’ve improved a lot in my movement and my shots are sharper. Also, I am more confident and I have got my rhythm. The final against the world No 1 won’t be easy but I will give my best and I want to enjoy it.”
3.10 pm: Tai Tzu Ying is playing in her ninth tournament final this season. She has lost only one of them – at the Malaysia Masters in January against Ratchanok Intanon. Tai did not have as tough a route to the Denmark Open final as Saina, but she had to get past two spirited Chinese to reach the summit clash. In the quarters, she beat Chen Yufei 21-13, 12-21, 21-9, before getting revenge against He Bingjiao, who had denied her a medal at the world championships. Tai beat He 21-14 21-12 in just half an hour in the semis.
3 pm: Saina Nehwal has given herself the best possible chance to end her losing streak against Tai Tzu. The London Olympics bronze medallist has been in scintillating form in this tournament, dispatching world No 2 Akane Yamaguchi, former world champion Nozomi Okuhara and world junior champion Gregoria Mariska Tunjung en route to the final. Nehwal had won this title back in 2012. Can she do it again?
Hello, everyone, and welcome to The Field’s live blog for the women’s singles final of the 2018 Denmark Open badminton tournament in Odense on Sunday.
The two shuttlers are meeting for the 18th time in their careers, with Nehwal managing to win only five of those matches. Tai has such a command over her Indian opponent that she has won all of their last 10 matches. Can Nehwal end the Taiwanese shuttler’s run today?