Fuzhou (China): Exhibiting her usual fiery intensity, Spanish world No. 1 badminton player Carolina Marin got off to a solid start at the China Open with a 21-18, 21-15 victory over China’s Ji Shuting.
Marin, who as always celebrated her winning points with loud screams, led Ji just 19-18 late in the first game. But the Chinese player proceeded to dump two shots in the net to drop the opener here on Wednesday, reports Efe.
In the second, Ji was up 11-10 at the mid-game interval, but Marin turned it on late to win 11 of the last 15 points to wrap up the victory and advance to the round of 16.
The Spanish reigning Olympic champion and two-time reigning world champion showed no signs of the thigh injury she sustained at the Denmark Open last month.
She will next take on Japan’s Sayaka Sato for a berth in the quarter-finals.
Chinese women have dominated their home event in recent years but they will have a tough time maintaining that success this time around in singles due to the presence of Marin and other strong foreign players such as Indian Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu and Japanese rising star Akane Yamaguchi.
China’s top-ranked female player and defending China Open champion, fourth-ranked Li Xuerui, is still out of action with the leg injury she sustained in a loss to Marin in the semi-finals of the Rio Olympics.
That leaves world No. 9 Sun Yu and world No. 10 He Bingjiao as the highest-ranked Chinese women’s singles players at this Super Series Premier event.
The tournament will run through Sunday in the south eastern Chinese city.