The Thai player has learnt a lot from the 2013 world champion and now feels ready for a shot at Olympic glory
Pornpawee Chochuwong enjoyed a lot of attention at the badminton World Tour Finals in Bangkok.
The Thai player had a successful maiden run in the season-ending tournament which saw her beat some high profile names.
The 23-year-old is no stranger to pulling off an upset, but her win over compatriot and idol Ratchanok Intanon has thrust her firmly under the spotlight.
Chochuwong revealed to the Olympic Channel that she feels ready for the attention and believes that now is her time to shine.
No one predicted that the debutant would be one of the two players to progress to the next stage of the competition. However on the opening day of the tournament, she faced off against a her idol and compatriot Intanon and managed to beat the 2013 world champion after just over an hour on court.
"She [Intanon] has thought me a lot of skill, technique and also about my mentality. If you give up I can’t win, but if you fight, you have a chance to win." - Pornpawee Chochuwong
Chochuwong has deep respect and admiration for Intanon but said after her victory that "we have to show our best performance on court" and said a humble "thank you" to Intanon for everything that she has taught her.
The very next day, Chochuwong made it two wins in a row after she defeated the reigning world number one Tai in straight sets. It was another shocking victory that secured her a spot in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Chochuwong's dream run at the World Tour Finals finally came to an end after she was beaten by Carolina Marin in the semi-finals.
The Thai player and the Spaniard have faced off in the past, and Chochuwong caused quite a stir in the badminton community when she defeated Carolina Marin in Barcelona to snatch victory in the 2020 Spain Masters finals.
The Super 300 event was Chochuwong's first World Tour title and the first time she had managed to defeat the three-time world and reigning Olympic champion.
In the space of a year, the two-time Sudirman Cup bronze medallist has proved that she can beat the likes of Marin, Tai and Intanon when she plays to her potential.
Chochuwong has been steadily rising up the rankings and reached a career-high of eleventh in the world after the conclusion of the 2020 season.
The 2016 world junior championships silver medallist now has her sights on qualifying for the upcoming Olympic Games. With a nation being able to qualify two player to the Games if they are both ranked within the top sixteen, Chochuwong is currently in the running to make her Olympic debut.
"It is really important for me because of my age, I'm now 23. If I can go, maybe I can pull-off a surprise for Thailand." - Pornpawee Chochuwong