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17 Jan, 2021
A roar, a scream, and a burst of tears – Carolina Marin, overcome with emotion and ecstatic with the first win in the year, had just put in a commanding performance against top seeded Tai Tzu Ying to claim the women’s singles title at the Yonex Thailand Open.
The Olympic Champion has had an impressive run at the comeback World Tour event and has now clearly laid down the marker as she gets ready to defend her Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics come August. Yes, it’s a bit premature to be making predictions but will indeed take a very brave man to bet against the Spanish sensation on mounting a serious challenge at the gold in the Summer Olympics of 2021.
Over the past couple of seasons Carolina has been quite adept at coming off from long layoff to put together strong runs at major championships. Back in 2019, a horrific injury kept her out for a good 6-8 months, but she came back in a stunning fashion to win at the China Open – her second tournament after comeback.
Now here in Bangkok, as most players comeback from the long corona virus layoff, it has been a challenge for many with injuries, lack of match practice, and rustiness clearly visible. But Carolina has been on a different level all week long – chalking up impressive wins all along, and she did it without losing a single game.
In the final’s Carolina burst out of the blocks, hardly giving the top seed a look-in. She raced to an early lead and consolidated it further to keep Tai Tzu to a single-digit score in the opening game. While the second game was on a more even kneel – Carolina never looked in any real danger of losing the title bout. This was Carolina’s 16th career win over Tai, and certainly one of her more commanding ones.
Some clever footwork, deft net-play, and her usual roaring presence on the court with an added dose of aggression and power, made sure that she romped home with plenty to spare – and as she notched up the win, she let it all out in an encore.
Speaking at the post-match press conference Carolina underlined the fact that she wanted to make her intentions very clear from the beginning.
"I wanted to show her from the beginning that I wanted to win," Marin said.
Acknowledging her opponent’s superiority on the day, Tai Tzu conceded that Carolina was very fast and aggressive on the day, and she put a lot of pressure on her.
With the first tournament of the year behind her and a fabulous win under her belt, one can only hope that Carolina will go from strength to strength, mounting a serious challenge for the rest of the tournaments ahead!