Taiwan: World No. 1 women's singles player Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan who won her fifth straight Super Series titles at the OUE Singapore Open on Sunday by beating Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain, has received a lot of media attention ever since she became the first Taiwanese shuttler to claim the women’s singles number one spot in Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings on December 1st, 2016.
Tai Tzu-Ying is considered as one of the "Pride of Taiwan". (photo: AFP)Tai Tzu-Ying is considered as one of the "Pride of Taiwan". (photo: AFP)
Tai is also the first women's singles player in history to ever pick up five straight Superseries titles. After lifting the Hong Kong Open last November, she also picked up the prestigious Dubai Superseries Final last December, and has achieved another milestone for Taiwanese badminton when she became the first Taiwanese to claim the women's singles title at the prestigious All England Open, and then the 2017 Malaysia Open - where she also defeated Carolina Marin.
Despite her sudden rise to fame, Taiwanese media has described the World No. 1 female player as a humble and sometime shy young lady.
"She rarely go to wedding banquets because she afraid people will take picture with her," said her mother Hu Jung.
Despite her preference to shy away from spotlight, she is obviously no longer has the option of avoiding attentions.
Her father's persistence has also play a hugely important role in the success of the World No. 1 player. Her father was a police officer in Kaohsiung, before joining the city’s fire department in 1998. He is now the secretary-general of the Kaohsiung City Badminton Association.
When Tai decided to start focusing in badminton in third grade, her father had moved Tai to two elementary schools in four years in order to find her a school that was strong in sport.
Tai's high school coach then would like her to play in women's doubles and mixed doubles, but it was her father who insisted that Tai should focus in women's singles, and her father was eventually able to find Lai Chien-cheng from being a training partner to serve as Tai's full-time women’s singles coach.
Her father, Tai Nan-Kai also told Taiwanese media that he hope Tai Tzu Ying could continue to do well in badminton and he is planning to go to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 to watch his daughter play.