OUE Singapore Open 2017

Marin and Sindhu will give no quarter

Carolina has momentum but P.V. arrives for their Olympic final rematch battle hardened

The stage is set for the next instalment of the rivalry between the reigning Olympic champion and her familiar foe, after a cake walk by Spain's Carolina Marin and yet another escape act put on by India's P.V. Sindhu.

Both won their matches yesterday at the OUE Singapore Open, and will clash in the quarter-finals today at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Marin barely broke a sweat as she swept aside Chinese Taipei's Lee Chia-hsin 21-7, 21-11 in just 27 minutes. Sindhu, though, had to summon a great comeback for the second day in a row as she survived a 19-21, 21-17, 21-8 test from world No. 27 Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia.

She sets up an 11th meeting with Marin, with their head-to-head tied at 5-5. Sindhu, who edged past Japanese Nozomi Okuhara 10-21, 21-15, 22-20 on Wednesday, got the better of Marin in their two meetings since their final at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last August - including victory in the India Open final earlier this month.

But Marin is riding high on momentum and confidence.

Said the 23-year-old, who also made the final in Malaysia last week: "Now I'm feeling really good on court, and I'm getting some confidence in myself.

"It was hard after the Olympics," added Marin, who has yet to win a title after her triumph in Rio. "But I'm feeling better and better. Let's see who will win tomorrow. It's going to be a good and tough game and I will enjoy myself on court."

But while Marin was rarely tested last night, Sindhu's vocal supporters in the stands were given a scare.

The difference between the Indian star and her Indonesian opponent was stark, not least because Sindhu stands at 1.79m while Fitriani is 1.54m. The former also has two bronzes from the world championships while the latter, 18, is still eligible to play on the junior circuit.

  • DAY 4 SELECTED FIXTURES

  • MEN'S SINGLES

    Shi Yuqi (Chn) v K. Srikanth (Ind)

    WOMEN'S SINGLES

    P.V. Sindhu (Ind) v Carolina Marin (Esp)

    Sun Yu (Chn) v Sung Ji Hyun (Kor)

    Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe) v Sayaka Sato (Jpn)

    Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) v Zhang Beiwen (USA)

    MEN'S DOUBLES

    Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) v Berry Angriawan/ Hardianto Hardianto (Ina)

    WOMEN'S DOUBLES

    Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) v Chayanit Chaladchalam/Phataimas Muenwong (Tha)

    Note: Order of play not available at press time.

Said the 21-year-old Indian: "Sometimes your strokes might not go as you plan, sometimes it might not be your day. You need to be prepared for everything.

"I'm looking forward to it (her match against Marin), and I think I need to rest and recover well."

Top seeds in the women's singles, including Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei, South Korean Sung Ji Hyun, Japan's Akane Yamaguchi and last year's finalist Sun Yu of China also earned last-eight berths yesterday.

The men's singles draw, however, has opened up after more seeds were upset yesterday.

World No. 2 Son Wan Ho was taken out by Indonesia's Jonatan Christie 21-15, 21-18, while No. 10 Angus Ng of Hong Kong also lost 21-14, 12-21, 18-21 to South Korean Lee Dong Keun (No. 35).


SINGAPORE OPEN
Q-finals: StarHub Ch203, 5pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2017, with the headline 'Marin and Sindhu will give no quarter'. Print Edition | Subscribe