The Women’s Singles Group B match saw Spain’s Marin stage a thrilling comeback, saving eight match points before her Chinese opponent regained her composure to close it out 21-18 24-22.
For most of the match, Marin was a shadow of herself as she plunged deeper and deeper in trouble against the big-hitting Sun. Unable to string a sequence of points and committing numerous errors, the Spaniard appeared to have given up the chase as she trailed 13-20 in the second.
A change came over her at this point. Marin was suddenly her old combative self once again, bursting with energy and hustling Sun into errors. The deficit disappeared as Marin ran up a sequence of eight straight points with a spell of high intensity to be on the verge of equalling the match.
Sun stemmed the breach with a 346 kph smash, and even though Marin saved another match point, the Chinese had the momentum once again on her side, winning the match after Marin sent a shuttle long.
However with two group matches yet to play, Marin still has a chance to qualify for the semi-finals.
In other matches in the same category, Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun eased past Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon 21-19 21-12, while 2014 champion Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei) also enjoyed a quick victory over China’s He Bingjiao, 21-16 21-13.
“I had very little rest after the Korea Masters as I rushed to the airport straight from the stadium,” said Sung Ji Hyun, who won her home Grand Prix Gold title on Sunday. “I haven’t won a Superseries this year, so that’s motivation for me to do well here. Today was a good start. Hopefully I can continue to play at this level.”
Mixed Doubles defending champions Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock enjoyed a bright start to their campaign, winning their opening match in just 34 minutes.
The England pair were never threatened by Japan’s Kenta Kazuno/Ayane Kurihara, who appeared to be off-rhythm the entire match as they fell 21-15 21-9.
“We don’t feel the pressure of being defending champions,” said Gabrielle Adcock. “We know if we play as good as we can, we’ll do well. We had a good start today.”
“It wasn’t as easy as it seemed,” said Chris Adcock. “Even though we were ahead, we had to keep our concentration. There weren’t too many rallies; it was a bit tense. We’re happy with the good start. We play a couple of young Chinese pairs in this group. We’re looking forward to getting on court as it’s always a challenge to play them.”
Mixed Doubles saw Yonex All England winner Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto upset their senior compatriots Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir for the first time. The younger pair made it past the Olympic champions in Group A, 21-11 21-12.
Men’s Doubles also saw an all-Indonesian battle, with three-time Superseries winners Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon battling past Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi 21-18 17-21 21-14.
Recent Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open champions Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda suffered an early setback in their Dubai campaign, falling 21-15 21-17 to Denmark’s Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding.
Action in the BWF Dubai World Superseries Finals continues with the finals being played on Sunday 18 December.
Tickets for the BWF Dubai World Superseries Finals are on sale at www.ticketmaster.ae – prices start from AED 25, with those under 18 years entering for free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. For more information about the event go to: http://www.dubaisuperseriesfinals.ae.
A knee injury may have curtailed Carolina Marin’s preparations for the BWF World Superseries Finals but the world number one is determined to do what she can to win an elusive title in Dubai.
The 23-year-old, who clinched the Olympic gold medal in Rio in August, suffered a 18-21, 22-24 defeat to Sun Yu of China in the opening group stage match at Hamdan Sports Complex Wednesday.
The Spanish shuttler is yet to win a superseries title in 2016 and is bidding to end an injury-hit but memorable year on a high at the season-ending climax in the UAE.
Her success in Brazil has spearheaded the development of badminton in Spain, where peripheral sports struggle for funding behind football, basketball and tennis.
“I think we are growing and many people in Spain know about badminton now,” Marin told Sport360. “It’s impressive that many people want to follow it on TV. They want to know everything about me and what tournaments I’m going to play. They are really excited about badminton.”
“We had a little break (after the Olympics). I had to take care of my body in the last tournament. It was really painful so I want to take care of my body because it’s really important and I’ll try to do my best,” said Marin.
Despite the restrictions in her movement, Marin produced a string of sensational performances, reaching the semi-finals in Hong Kong and Denmark recently.
In Hong Kong, she forced a third set in her last four defeat to Tai Tzu-ying, but it was a display that should provide her with plenty of confidence if she is to have a real shot at glory on Dubai soil.
Marin may be out of the running to win the overall Destination Dubai title, but the two-time world champion has enough skill and resilience to reach the final if she beats Akane Yamaguchi and in-form PV Sindhu Thursday and Friday.
“Everyone wants to beat me. I’m the only European that has been top of the world rankings and it’s like I broke China or a nation wall,” added Marin.
“I want to enjoy every game and I will try to win here because it’s one of the tournaments that I’ve never won. It’s, of course, one of my goals.”
Jorgensen, 28, has more than made up for flopping at the Rio 2016 Olympics by helping Denmark to an opening triumph in the prestigious Thomas Cup and becoming the first non-Asian to lift the China Open. These triumphs saw him top the Destination Dubai rankings for the elite season-ending competition, where he opens this morning at Hamdan Sports Complex versus Hong Kong’s Hu Yun in the men’s singles.
He said: “These Finals have been going on for quite awhile and [iconic retired countrymen] Peter Gade has won it when it was called the World Badminton Grand Prix Finals, so to be honest the Thomas Cup was a bigger achievement from a Danish point of view as we’d never won it.
“China as well, because it is like a legendary tournament to win from a non-Asian. I am really proud to have won these tournaments.
“But of course this is the best of the best. You really want to do well here as well, so it will be a big achievement to win this one.”
Danish sport is traditionally associated with football, where the likes of the Laudrup brothers – Michael and Brian – became global stars.