Indonesia Open: Marin Powers into Semis

It’s been over two years since Carolina Marin and Tai Tzu Ying faced each other.

That was in January 2021, when they made three finals in three successive weeks in Bangkok.

When they faced off again, in the quarterfinals of the KAPAL API GROUP Indonesia Open 2023, it was once again a showcase, essentially, of blinding speed versus deception. Marin’s speed and consistency won out in the end, but the contest had crackled in the opening game. Once Marin edged her opponent to get the lead, there was a perceptible shift in momentum in the second game. There was to be no comeback by the defending champion.

What has changed since they last played each other?

Carolina Marin and Tai Tzu Ying

“I feel that Marin’s attack is getting faster, and more precise,” said Tai. “I felt the beginning was okay, but in the end I couldn’t catch her tempo, her attack was very good in the second game. I’m not satisfied with the way I played today, I made a lot of mistakes.”

Marin’s coach Fernando Rivas was happy that she was able to show some of the abilities that define her.

“The plan was to increase the pace, obviously to keep the attack, and to keep Tai away from the net, or even if you play the net, just put it in places where she’s a bit uncomfortable. Just playing different types of lobs, just to give herself time. But it was more about the inner game, how to get back to good old habits for Carolina, and she was excellent with that.

“She’s been through a lot, with a lot of energy put in other places, but now that everything is running smoothly, and her health is okay, we have to refocus and readapt to some things. She showed that she’s able to do that.

“She was playing clever and quick, so when she plays at that pace, decision-making’s easier, it becomes more difficult for the opponent. Probably Tai didn’t play her best match, we took advantage of that, she didn’t seem in good shape today.”

Marin was all praise for her opponent’s skill.

“It was really important to play at high pace, because she’s so good in deception,” said the Spaniard, who made her first Super 1000 semifinal of the year. “Sometimes you have to accept that you will follow the shuttle because she’s so good with all the strokes, but well, mainly I wanted to keep the focus on my gameplan and also to keep the shuttle going on court. We had to play long rallies, I was ready for that.

“It feels great to play her after three years. When you reach the quarterfinals you have to face a top player. I was ready for today’s game and wanted to give my best. I’m really happy to reach the semifinals, but I’m happier because I did a good performance and this is the way I want to keep going.

“Yesterday was more emotional. It was my birthday and I wanted to win, it was a special day, so after yesterday I wanted to forget the game and I wanted to keep the focus on improving.”

Emotional Win for Tang/Tse

Tang Chun Man & Tse Ying Suet

Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet were unusually emotional after a rollercoaster quarterfinal against Robin Tabeling/Selena Piek. The Hong Kong China pair haven’t been in a semifinal since the BWF World Championships in December 2021. Today they made a sensational comeback from 7-14 down in the third with a nine-point streak helping them take the match 21-15 23-25 21-18.

“We had to stop training due to Covid, and then I kept suffering injuries. I’m 32 this year, so it was hard to recover,” said a tearful Tse Ying Suet. “I had injuries in my shoulder, knees and back, but I kept trying and working with my physio. It was very hard to get back my confidence.”

Tang, just as tearful, added: “After the Olympics we were going downhill, we tried very hard and all kinds of training, but there wasn’t much success. But we kept trying and now to get into the last four, it proves that our hard work has paid off.”


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