Ratchanok Holds Off Kawakami for NZ Title

Ratchanok Holds Off Kawakami for NZ Title

Top seed Ratchanok Intanon has survived a stiff challenge to claim the women’s singles title at the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open at the North Shore Events Centre in Auckland.

The world number nine was taken to three games by Japanese fifth seed Saena Kawakami.

Intanon claimed the first game with ease, but Kawakami dug deep to take the second, forcing the Thai into a third game decider.

However, the crowd favourite fended off what would have been a major upset, holding her nerve to close out the match 21-14 16-21 21-15.