Sports Desk, Oct 15 (efe-epa).- Spanish badminton star Carolina Marin continued to show strong form after the coronavirus hiatus, rolling to a 21-14, 21-8 second-round victory Thursday over Line Christophersen at the Denmark Open.
Playing in her first official tournament since the All England Open in March, the Spanish reigning Olympic women’s singles gold medalist and three-time world champion struggled early on in her second-round match against a 20-year-old Danish opponent who used her height and reach to good effect on both offense and defense.
Christophersen led 11-10 at the first mid-game interval at Odense Sports Park in Odense, Denmark, but Marin put her foot on the accelerator soon afterward to turn a 13-13 deadlock into a 21-14 first-game victory.
In the second game, Marin stepped up her aggressiveness even more to grab a quick 5-0 lead and never looked back.
Whereas Christophersen had put the Spaniard on the defensive at times in the first game and struck more winners than her illustrious rival, she was rarely able to seize the initiative on any points in the second game.
Marin, for her part, finished numerous points with clean winners while also keeping her unforced errors to a minimum.
The Spaniard, who defeated Russia’s Natalia Perminova in the first round, said on Twitter that she had “really good feelings” about her second-round match.
Next up for Marin in Friday’s quarterfinals will be sixth-seeded American Beiwen Zhang, who rallied to defeat Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya 14-21, 21-12, 21-18.
Whereas Marin had never faced Christophersen prior to Thursday, she has played Zhang on five previous occasions.
Zhang won their first two matches, which were played in 2013 before Marin had won any of her four major titles.
Marin comfortably won their two most recent contests: a 21-11, 21-13 victory at the 2018 Fuzhou China Open and a 21-17, 21-12 win at the 2019 China Open.
The Denmark Open is a Super 750 event and one of the biggest badminton tournaments on the annual calendar.
But it has been marred this year by the absence of many highly ranked players due to continued concerns about the coronavirus. In women’s singles, neither world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei nor Chinese world No. 2 Chen Yufei made the trip to Odense.
Japanese world No. 3 Akane Yamaguchi was the top seed but, like many of her countrymen, she withdrew before the start of the event. EFE-EPA