Marin screams her way into Semis

Spain's Carolina Marin making a return to India's Saina Nehwal in the women's singles quarter-finals at the World Championships in Nanjing, China, yesterday. The 25-year-old Spaniard trounced Nehwal 21-6, 21-11.
Spain's Carolina Marin making a return to India's Saina Nehwal in the women's singles quarter-finals at the World Championships in Nanjing, China, yesterday. The 25-year-old Spaniard trounced Nehwal 21-6, 21-11.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Vocal Spaniard too good for Indian Nehwal as both world No. 1s Tai & Axelsen crash out

NANJING (China) • Olympic champion Carolina Marin bellowed and blustered her way into the badminton World Championships semi-finals with a devastating victory over India's Saina Nehwal yesterday.

The 25-year-old and seventh seed is chasing a third world crown and, on this ominous form, she looks like she could well get it.

She faces China's He Bingjiao in the last four today, after the sixth seed stunned world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan.

The Spaniard destroyed 10th-seeded Nehwal, who cut a demoralised figure by the end of the 21-6, 21-11 mauling in Nanjing.

Marin is particularly vocal and demonstrative on court, shouting or screaming in Spanish after every winning point and before serving too. One member of the audience took to imitating her.

Asked what she was hollering, Marin replied with a laugh: "I cannot tell you.

"It is just something I keep to myself. It was not a strategy against Saina, it is something I do against any opponent. I do it for myself.

"I learnt to do this some years ago, it was not something I did from the beginning of my career, that's impossible because I was too young. I had to learn many things in my career, and this is one thing I learnt."

Nehwal, a former world No. 1 who looked shell-shocked afterwards, said that she had no complaints about Marin's behaviour.

"The pace she was playing at was quite tremendous, she was very fast," said the 28-year-old, who won Commonwealth Games gold earlier this year.

The strongly fancied Tai tasted just a second defeat in 35 matches, a run which brought five titles from six events. But the 24-year-old was sloppy at times against He, making a series of unforced errors, particularly at the net.

World No. 7 He emerged after just under an hour to win 21-18, 7-21, 21-13 in a thrilling contest.

"Today I made several mistakes in the third set, and also had some simple faults in the opening set," admitted Tai, who had won her last six matches against He.

"We are familiar with each other's playing style. Today her drop points were always tricky, making it difficult for me to control the mistakes.

"For me (the winning streak and world ranking) is pressure. Although I thought I was enjoying the match, I made too many mistakes and (became) frustrated."

He said: "I felt great after beating Tai as she is my biggest opponent. I never imagined that I could enter the top four, but I finally did it. I can't relax now as I have to prepare for the next match."

In yesterday's marquee men's match, former world No. 1 Chen Long beat current No. 1 and defending champion Viktor Axelsen 21-19, 21-11 in the quarter-finals.

Chen, the reigning Olympic champion who won this event in 2014 and 2015, faces fellow Chinese Shi Yuqi in today's first semi-final.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

S-finals: StarHub Ch201, 11am & 6pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2018, with the headline 'Marin screams her way into Semis'. Print Edition | Subscribe