Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi beat Tai Tzu-Ying of Chinese Taipei 21-18, 22-20 in the final to clinch the women’s singles title at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals, here on Sunday.
While the score was close Yamaguchi, who last won the season-ender five years ago, was unmistakably in the driver’s seat during the 46-minute contest.
With this, the Japanese became the first women’s singles player since Ye Zhaoying in 1997 to claim the All England Open, World Championships and end-of-season finals all in the same year.
“She kept coming at me, to put pressure on me. But I wanted to be aggressive to hold on to the lead. I don’t know if it’s the best I’ve ever played but I did have a good week here,” said Yamaguchi after her win.
“I thought I defended well in the second game. I didn’t panic and waited for my opportunity to attack. I’m not tall so the speed is important to me. Without it I don’t think I stand a chance,” she added.
Her opponent Tai, who missed her third WTF title, admitted to struggling to keep up with the ferocious speed.
“I thought she was slightly faster than me. I wanted to attack because my defense wasn’t great today. But unfortunately, I couldn’t cut down on my errors and her net play was very good,” said Tai.
“I did quite OK this season. The new season will start quickly in January so I won’t get much time to rest. I hope to recover and get back in good condition. There will be many competitions starting from April,” she added.