Chinese Taipei’s Dai Tzu-ying wins women’s singles title
Won 6 of 10 international events this year
“One day at a time” in pursuit of world No. 1
“Shuttlecock genius” Ahn Se-young (21-Samsung Life-World No. 2) became the first South Korean to win back-to-back women’s singles titles at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Korea Open in 29 years after “Shuttlecock Angel” Hwang Soo-hyun (51).
Ahn Se-young defeated Dai Tzu-ying (29-Taiwan, No. 4) 2-0 (21-9, 21-15) in the final of this year’s event at Jinnam Gymnasium in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, on Wednesday. The victory was the second straight for Ahn, who became the first South Korean to win the women’s singles title at the Korea Open since Sung Ji-hyun (32-current national coach) in 2015 at last year’s event.
The only other South Korean player to win back-to-back singles titles at the event, which began in 1991, was Hwang Soo-hyun in 1993 and 1994. Camilla Martin (49-DEN), the 2000 and 2001 champion, was the last player of any nationality to win back-to-back women’s singles titles.
Ahn is ranked No. 1 in the 2023 BWF World Tour Rankings. She has played 10 international tournaments this year, reaching the final in nine of them and winning six. She only missed the final at the Indonesian Open last month, where she lost in the semifinals to her nemesis Chen Yufei (25-China-3rd). Ahn came from behind to defeat Chen Yufei 2-1 (15-21, 21-8, 24-22) in the semifinals of the Korea Open. Her head-to-head record against Chen remains 5-10.
Her opponent in the final, Dai Zhiying, was no slouch either. With a total of 214 weeks at the top of the world rankings, Dai is considered one of the world’s best technicians. She had also reached the semifinals of the tournament, defeating World No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi (26-Japan). But on this day, Ahn showed off her strengths of defense, volleying, and drop shots to seal the victory in 38 minutes.
Ahn has earned 12,264 ranking points in the last 52 weeks and is now 2253 points behind No. 1 Yamaguchi (104,517). With 12,000 ranking points at stake at next month’s World Championships, the lead could be reversed depending on the outcome of the tournament. “I believe that if I do my best every day, good results will come,” said Ahn. I will believe in myself,” Ahn said.
South Korean women’s singles players have been ranked No. 1 in the world by Lee Young-sook, 53, a star of the 1980s and ’90s, and 1996 Atlanta Olympics gold medalist Hwang Soo-hyun, but both were during the International Badminton Federation (IBF) era. 고스톱 South Korea has yet to produce a No. 1 women’s singles player since the BWF’s inception in 2006.