Odense: Spanish shuttler Carolina Marin nearly pulled off a yet another nail-biting victory at the Denmark Open Superseries but ended up going down 15-21, 21-19, 18-21 to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi here.
The reigning Olympic women’s singles gold medallist and two-time world champion was unable to overcome the diminutive but powerful Yamaguchi on Saturday, who evened her head-to-head against the Spanish great at 2-2, reports Efe.
The eighth-seeded Japanese won the first game and took a lead in the second but Marin bounced back strongly to clinch the second game.
Marin rallied on the strength of accurate and powerful smashes — some struck at speeds of up to 322 km (200 miles) per hour — and errors by Yamaguchi to force the decider.
The Spaniard, who was struggling with a thigh injury took a medical timeout before the start of the third game.
Wearing a bandage when she returned to the court, Marin’s movement was clearly restricted but she continued to fight for a fourth straight third-game victory and a berth in the final.
Yamaguchi, however, showed her mettle as well to hold on for a tough victory against a ferocious competitor.