SHAH ALAM: Thai badminton sensation Ratchanok Intanon marched into the final of the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open Superseries Premier after sensationally defeating China's Wang Yihan 21-19, 21-13 today. And the 21-year-old Thai will remember the Malawati Stadium for two things; the first was her inaugural victory over Wang Yihan and the second was the tremendous fan support that made her win possible.
In the final tomorrow, the Thai ace will meet her "good friend" Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan who upset third seed Saina Nehwal of India 21-19, 21-13 in 34 minutes.
"Whether I win the final or not does not matter but I will certainly cherish this win, the fans and this stadium….I have never beaten Yihan in my previous meetings," said a happy Ratchanok over her victory.
"Before the match I was still haunted by past defeats. I took the court without pressure…the pressure was on Yihan. I also thought of how to unlock Yihan.
"I was mentally prepared helped by my fitness and overall performance here, I was ready to make it count this time around. I was not going to take another defeat. The win is very motivating for me."
This is Ratchanok's second final in two weeks, having won the Yonex Sunrise India Open Superseries in New Delhi. Next week she will head to Singapore for the Singapore Open Superseries. She will also compete in the Asian Badminton Championships.
Tzu Ying was also thankful to the Malaysian fans who made her "feel at home" in her win over Nehwal. "This is the first time I got such fan support when playing Saina. In the past Saina used to have more support in the stands," said Tzu Ying.
Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe) beat Saina Nehwal (Ina) 21-19, 21-13
Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) beat Wang Yihan (Chn) 21-11, 21-19