In-form Carolina Marin edged a two-game thriller against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan at the Malaysia Open on Saturday to advance to the finals of the 600.000 Dollars event in Kuching.
The two-time world champion from Spain saw off the world number ten 23-21, 21-19 in 54 minutes and will face world number one Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan in Sunday's final. Marin holds an 4-3 career advantage over Tzu Ying - but lost their last two encounters at the Hong Kong an China Open Superseries both in 2016.
„The final is here. One more step. Thanks for your support. I hope my lovely fans in Malaysia keep on supporting me tomorrow“, Marin wrote on her official Facebook page.
It will be 23-year-old Marin's second Malaysia Open final and 7th Superseries finals appearance in total. In 2015, the Olympic gold medalist from the Spanish city of Huelva won the Malaysia Open when she beat Li Xuerui of China.
Marin was also tested by Ratchanok Intanon in their quarter-final match, that extended to an hour and two minutes on Friday.
Carolina Marin, crowned Best European Female Player 2016 at the 5th BEC Awards Gala in Prague, has been in good form recently, finishing runner-up at the India Superseries earlier this month.
Another Lin Dan vs Lee Chong Wei clash
The Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open Superseries Premier got its highly-anticipated final in the men’s singles when legends Lin Dan of China and Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei both won their respective semi-finals on Saturday. The top seed Chong Wei eased past world no. 12 Wong Wing-ki Vincent off Hongkong 21-12, 21-9 in just 40 minutes to continue the successful defence of his title.
Lin Dan, Lee's biggest rival, had a far tougher path to the summit clash and needed 1 hour 24 minutes to subdue the fifth-seeded Son Wan Ho in three games 27-25, 19-21, 21-16.
Malaysia Open finals with European interest:
WS: Carolina Marin (ESP) - Tai Tzu Ying (TPE)
Recent Malaysia Open champions from Europe:
2015 - Carolina Marin
2013 - Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen
2012 - Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl
2009 - Tine Baun
2008 - Tine Baun
2007 - Peter Gade
2002 - Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms
Click HERE for all results of the Malaysia Open Superseries 2017.
Article by Manuel Rösler. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.