Badminton: Tai Tzu Ying reveals success formula, says world number one title was not her target

In-form Chinese Taipei shutter Tai says she is targeting consistency at the highest level

Tai Tzu Ying
Tai Tzu Ying has won six titles on the trot since 2016 Hong Kong Open triumph Reuters

Reigning Asian champion Tai Tzu Ying reveals she did not target the world number one title, but she is glad that her numero uno status is a result of hard work.

The 22-year-old Chinese Taipei shuttler is the undisputed queen of Women's singles badminton now, having won six titles on the trot ever since she became the first Taiwanese shuttler to win the Hong Kong Open last year. Tai went on to win the BWF World Superseries Finals in Dubai last December, after which she opened 2017 with her maiden All England Championships title.

Titles at Malaysia Superseries Premier and Singapore Superseries followed Tai and on both occasions she defeated reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the title match. Having entered the Badminton Asia Championships last month as the top seed, the world number one did not put a foot wrong enroute to the top step of the podium in Wuhan.

"Before I played the Hong Kong Open, many people calculated my points and told me that if I win the tournament, I will be World No.1... That was not a target that I set for myself, but I am glad that was the result I have achieved because I had been doing my best," Tai said, as quoted by BWF's official website.

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"My wish for every tournament was to maintain the same result. For example if I had advanced to the semi-finals this year, I will hope to advance to the semi-finals in the following year too. I place more emphasis on the process because you have put in so much effort in training, even if you win a match easily but do not apply what you have trained, it defeats the purpose of training."

Even the likes of Marin, PV Sindhu, Akane Yamaguchi and Ratchanok Intanon have struggled against Tai in the recent past, not being able to cope up with the Taiwanese shuttler's deceptive play. The Asian champion has been rewarded for the risk involved in her style of play. However, the young shuttler reveals that she has been practicing more conventional shots to cut down on errors and focus on consistency.

Notably, Tai's rivals will have a breather at the BWF World Championships in Glasgow this August as the Chinese Taipei shuttler will be skipping the world meet to take part in World University Games at home.

"I do not have any new moves but I am learning to play more straightforward strokes rather than depending on deceptive shots because opponents can see through my moves now. I hope I can be more consistent, cut down on my mistakes so I don't lose matches because of that," Tai added.