Mixed doubles stars Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai will be chasing another historic achievement in badminton after they reached the title match of the US$1.5 million BWF World Tour Finals in Bali on Saturday.
Having claimed a hat-trick of victories at the season-ending triple-header in Bangkok in January, the world No.2 pair are one win away from repeating that feat in Bali following their victories at the Indonesia Masters and the Indonesia Open last month.
Standing in the way of that unique moment are arch-rivals Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino of Japan.
The pairs will square off for the fifth time this year with Dechapol and Sapsiree losing the first three meetings and only winning their latest match-up in the Indonesia Open final last Sunday.
In Saturday’s semi-finals, Dechapol and Sapsiree defeated Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia 21-8, 21-18 while Watanabe and Higashino needed a comeback against Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong to prevail 19-21, 21-9, 21-19.
Thailand has another representative in the final on Sunday as Kunlavut Vitidsarn will be fighting for the men’s singles crown after he beat Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia 21-18, 21-18 in the semi-finals.
The 20-year-old rising star, who was named the BWF most promising player on Friday, will play either Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen or India’s Lakshya Sen in the final.
Meanwhile Pornpawee Chochuwong’s campaign ended at the last-four stage again after the Thai bowed out to An Se-Young of South Korea 23-25, 17-21 in the women’s singles semi-finals.
Pornpawee also lost in the semis of the 2020 tournament at the hands of Spain’s Carolina Marin.
An will also be looking to complete a Bali treble after she won the Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open.
The Korean will play Pusarla V Sindhu after the Indian defeated Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi 21-15, 15-21, 21-19.
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