The 26-year-old from Phuket has been in good form since late last year, winning two titles at the Bitburger Open in Germany last November and the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters last Sunday (Jan 14).
The world No.13 beat compatriot Pornpawee Chochuwong in last Sunday’s final for the women’s singles title.
It was Thai shuttlers most successful campaign in the third edition of the annual tournament claiming three titles.
Nitchaon, Jongkolphan Kititharakul, Rawinda Prajongjai, Tinn Isriyanet and Kittisak Namdash delighted the home crowd at Bangkok’s Nimibutr Stadium after winning the women’s singles, women’s doubles and men’s doubles honours respectively.
In the first two editions of the tournament, Ratchanok Intanon (2016) and Busanan Ongbamrungphan (2017) were the only Thai winners, both bagging the women’s singles titles.
The 2017 champion Busanan, who beat world No.20 Aya Ohori of Japan in last year’s decider, had pulled out of the US$150,000 (approximately B4.9 million) BWF World Tour Super 300 tournament because of an ankle injury.
The only blemish in an otherwise perfect final day for the Kingdom was Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Puttita Supajirakul’s loss in the mixed doubles decider.
Phuket born and top seed Nitchaon beat compatriot Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-11, 21-18 to win the women’s singles title.
The tournament was launched in 2016 in honour of HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, a former national team player who won gold in the women’s team event at the 2005 SEA Games.
Nitchaon is expected to have few problems in the first round in Malaysia when she faces qualifier Delphine Lansac of France in her first round match today (Jan 17), but world No.23 Pornpawee was set to start against world No.12 Sayaka Sato.
Meanwhile, world No.5 Ratchanok Intanon also begun her 2018 campaign in Kuala Lumpur.
The 22-year-old, who did not play at last week’s Thailand Masters, was set to take on world No.24 Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia in her opening game also today.
“I am well-prepared and have been training hard for the new season,” Ratchanok said.
She will play over three consecutive weeks in Malaysia, Indonesia and India.
“I have set a higher target for this year because I am now fit after nagging injuries last year,” said the 2013 world champion.
Like Nitchaon, Ratchanok has also enjoyed a good run since late last year when she won the Denmark Open in October and reached the semi-finals of the BWF World Superseries Finals last month.
Meanwhile, Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, president of the Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT), said officials from the Badminton World Federation praised the BAT for organising the Thailand Masters in a befitting manner.
She added that it was a good start to 2018 for Thai badminton as its players won a record three titles at the Thailand Masters.