World number one Carolina Marin won the Yonex Hong Kong Open title for the first time in her career when she beat Japanese shuttler Nozomi Okuhara in a thrilling and epic women’s singles final on Sunday.
Okuhara beat Marin at the same event in 2014 but another memorably victory wasn't on the cards today as the Spaniard won 21-17, 18-21, 22-20 after both players spent an hour and 24 minutes on court in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Marin fought off a crazy comeback by Okuhara in the third and deciding game as the Japanese clawed back from 20-14 to force 20-20. But the top-seed was able control her nerves again to score the next two points and taking the Hong Kong Open crown.
"I think it was a tough match. She had a good comeback at the end of the game but I tried to just keep myself down and think positive things that I can beat her," said Marin to the news agency AFP.
Marin has had a fantastic year, not only defending her World Championship title in August and shooting up the rankings to number one, but also winning five Superseries titles this year, will give her a lot of confidence for the tournaments to come.
"I only have myself to beat in the Olympic Games. There is no other player," said Marin. "If I can concentrate, I know I can win the Olympic Games.
"Maybe the Rio Games is a bit far away for now as my next target will be the Dubai Superseries finals in two weeks. I only get a one-day break after winning here and then I have to prepare for Dubai before starting in the Superseries again in March next year”, said Marin in a post-match press conference to the media.
Boe/Mogensen finish second in Hong Kong
Former world number one duo Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen had to settle for the silver medal as they lost another brilliant match on Sunday’s finals. The Danes lost out to Korea’s Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong, the world number one duo and top seeds in Hong Kong. Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong won in three games 21-7, 18-21, 21-18 after 70 minutes of play.
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“We fought the best we had learned today, trailing 14-5 in second game after losing first 21-7, is not an easy situation. We came back and actually had the chance of winning the match but lost 21-18 in Third. We are not happy with the performance the first 1,5 games, however we are happy about the heart and passion we showed in the last 1,5 games. Two weeks of practice and rest, then off to Dubai”, the Danish All-England champions wrote on their official Facebook profile.
Previous Hong Kong Open champions from Europe:
2015 Carolina Marin (ESP)
2013 Chris Adcock/Gabby Adcock (ENG)
2010 Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN)
2009 Robert Mateusiak/Nadiezda Zieba (POL)
1998 Camilla Martin (DEN) & Michael Søgaard/Rikke Olsen (DEN)
1997 Peter Gade (DEN)
You can watch all finals matches on demand on the YouTube channel of the BWF
for champions of the tournament since 1982.
for all results from Hong Kong.
Article by Manuel Rösler. Photos (LIVE) by BadmintonPhoto.