The Istora is where two significant events in Carolina Marin’s life happened – her second BWF World Championships win in 2015, and a serious right knee injury in the final of the Indonesia Masters 2019 that took her out of action for several months.
Despite those career-altering experiences here, Marin says she has shut out the past as she returned to the iconic venue for the EAST VENTURES Indonesia Open 2022.
“Actually, I don’t think about all that,” Marin said, after a comfortable 21-17 21-17 win over Denmark’s Julie Dawall Jakobsen in the first round. “I just think about what I have to do against my opponent. I forgot about my win here, my injury; I just keep my focus on my game.”
The last match the Spaniard played at the Istora was at the Indonesia Masters 2020 just before the onset of the pandemic, when she made the final and lost in a close match to Ratchanok Intanon. With the crowds at the Istora for the Indonesia Masters and the Indonesia Open, Marin was happy with familiar sights and sounds.
“This tournament is one of the tournaments that every player would love to play. I really missed playing with the spectators to get this feeling. When you are on court you also sometimes get to hear what people are supporting. I love to play here. Finally, I’m back. I won my first match. So of course, I’m looking forward for my second round.”
Marin said she wasn’t at her physical best yet, but was reconciled to that.
“Well, I am not feeling my 100 per cent. But this is the condition that I have, I have to play with this condition. So, well, I just want to enjoy being back and keep playing some good games. And that’s it.
“Sometimes my knees get in some trouble. Sometimes I still have to stop during training. I have to go with this. I suffered two serious injuries in in my career. So this is life. I’m fortunate that I can still play. I’m thankful to be back, for sure.”
♦ Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino ground out a 27-25 21-23 21-15 win over tenacious opponents Robin Tabeling/Selena Piek.
♦ Kirsty Gilmour was back to her best after a bout of food poisoning last week, edging Line Christophersen 21-17 16-21 21-19.