Bangkok, Dec 11 The reigning world champion Akane Yamaguchi clinched her maiden BWF World Tour Finals title after beating Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying 21-18, 22-20 in the summit clash here on Sunday.
Yamaguchi capitalised on her third match point to sink three-time champion, Tai Tzu Ying, in straight games at the Nimibutr Arena here.
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 the win, Yamaguchi also equalled her head-to-head record 10-10 with the Taipei shuttler.
“She kept coming at me, to put pressure on me. But I wanted to be aggressive to hold on to the lead,” said Yamaguchi after the match. “I don’t know if it’s the best I’ve ever played but I did have a good week here.
“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 speed is important to me. Without it I don’t think I stand a chance”.
The Japanese shuttler finished the tour season having retained the world championship and catpuring prestigious All England.
Overall, the 25-year-old won four title this year — All England, World Championships, Japan Open and World Tour Finals.
This is the first runner-up finish for Tai Tzu at the World Tour Finals in four final appearances. She has won the title in 2014, 2016 and 2020, respectively.
“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,” Tai Tzu Ying said after missing out on 3rd World Tour Finals title.
“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 to a good condition. There will be many competitions starting from April”.