Marin only European in the final as Gicquel/Delrue exit
Date: 1/29/2023 2:06 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma

Both faced unfamiliar Chinese opponents in the semifinals. 

Carolina Marin is playing well. While her path back to winning ways hasn’t been as dramatic as her famous China Open victory over Tai Tzu Ying in 2019 in just her second tournament after a career-threatening injury, she is making steady progress. Today, her efforts were awarded in form of an Indonesia Masters final. 

The Spaniard recently talked about her feelings towards the historic Istora Senayan arena. While she won a record-breaking third World Championships crown here in 2018, she also got injured in the same place. However, Marin seems to have put behind the past, as she vies to deservedly become the greatest-of-all-time. 

Today, playing Han Yue for only the third time, the former Olympic champion came back from behind in both games to win 21-15, 21-14 in 41 minutes. More than anything, her match showed that she is playing with confidence. Marin is believing in her game again and is ready to take on even the world’s best. Well, she has to! 

Carolina Marin has to beat An Se Young for the title. Interestingly, the Korean sensation has won their last two meetings. What’s more, it was Marin who optimistically predicted two years ago that An Se Young will go a long way. Indeed, she has come a long way to become the present world number two. In fact, she has started 2023 with a bang, now reaching a third consecutive final in three weeks. Will her fatigue of the last three weeks play a part in the final? Probably! Can Marin produce the goods? Certainly! 

The Chinese puzzle

Thom Gicquel/ Delphine Delrue are the world fifth best mixed doubles pair. The rankings indicate that while Zheng Siwei/ Huang Yaqiong are untouchable with over 20,000 points more than the second-ranked pair in the world, the next three pairs are of same caliber with similar ranking points. However, there is a wide gap between them and the French duo. 

What does it mean? They still have to work a lot before challenging the best four in the world. Certainly, Gicquel/ Delrue have shown that they can take on any other pair. However, they still can’t solve the Chinese puzzle. Their record against the top two Chinese pairs in the world is 0-6 and 0-3 - not a single win. 

Similarly, they once again lost to a Chinese pair in form of the Olympic champion Huang Dong Ping partnering young gun Feng Yan Zhe. They French duo lost 13-21, 19-21 in a closely-contested match. 

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