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Taiwan's Tai loses to nemesis in Japan badminton event

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese badminton player Tai Tzu-ying fell to a Chinese rival Sunday in the women's singles final of the 2014 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Superseries Yonex Open Japan.

World No. 1 Li Xuerui of China defeated Tai 21-16, 21-6 in the final, her eighth consecutive victory over the Taiwanese 19-year-old based on BWF records.

Still it was a strong showing for Tai at a Superseries event, third in importance on the professional badminton tour after the World Championships and Superseries Premier events.

Seeded sixth in Tokyo, Tai did not have to face a seeded player until the finals because of a run of upsets, but she showed a lot of grit in the semifinals to post a comeback victory against Xin Liu of China 15-21, 21-19, 21-9.

Tai, currently ranked seventh in the world, earned 7,800 ranking points for her second-place finish, one of the biggest points hauls of her career, but it was not her best career finish at the tournament.

She won the 2012 Yonex Open Japan in September 2012 to become Taiwan's first singles champion at a Superseries event.

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Winner, China's Li Xuerui, center, poses with second place Tai Tzu-ying, left, of Taiwan and third place Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea during an award ceremony for the Japan Open badminton championship in Tokyo, yesterday. (AP)

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