WORLDS 2015 SF – Marin fight, fight, fights for finals spot

Sung Ji Hyun got the first dozen points in all three games of her semi-final at the BWF World Badminton Championships but it was World Champion Carolina Marin who fought […]

Sung Ji Hyun got the first dozen points in all three games of her semi-final at the BWF World Badminton Championships but it was World Champion Carolina Marin who fought to 21 first and took the match.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Sung Ji Hyun had history on her side but not luck on Saturday at the 2015 World Badminton Championships.  70 years ago today, her country became independent.  30 years ago, her mother had won her first World Championship medal, taking bronze in Calgary.

But it was the most recent history that seemed to make the difference in today’s match against Carolina Marin (pictured) of Spain.  Nor does that mean the fact that Marin already took this title a year ago.  Rather, the difference seemed to be Sung’s eighty-two minute marathon against P. V. Sindhu of India, the longest quarter-final match this year.

Sung had enough to get out to a lead in each game.  In the first, it was only a slight one and Marin quickly erased Sung’s 13-12 advantage with a 5-point run which she soon converted into a one-game lead.  In the second, Sung again saw her 12-8 lead quickly evaporate due to another 14-8 run by the champion but the Korean still had enough to finish strong and even the match.

In the third game, it looked like Sung Ji Hyun (pictured) was sitting pretty at 13-8 but Marin, who clearly had the crowd on her side, put on an incredible 10 unanswered points with thousands chanting her name while the exhausted Sung just couldn’t make up the difference.

“I’m just so disappointed to lose a three-game match,” said Sung Ji Hyun after the match, her voice finally sounding higher after the cold she has been fighting all week.  “I was especially disappointed that I just didn’t have the energy to fight to the end and win.

“I was leading near the end but I think it’s just that yesterday, too, I played a long, tough match and I had problems finding the stamina.  If I had been able to push a little harder, things could have turned out differently but it’s just so disappointing.

“At one point in the second game, I fell and was afraid I’d injured myself but I kept on. In the third game, I started to get a cramp in my toe.”

In the second and third games, Marin seemed to take a chance with some loud celebrations in Sung’s direction, a practice forbidden in international badminton, and generally seemed to be seeking a mental edge over her opponent with some grinning at her over the net.  Asked to comment on this after the match, Sung said, “Carolina Marin is normally the type of player who celebrates very loudly so it’s really something I have to anticipate when I play against her.  Still, though, I think she was doing quite of bit of celebrating today,” she said with a smile.

The defending champion was smiling but obviously fatigued at the press conference following the 90-minute semi-final.

“Today wasn’t my best game,” said Marin.  “I was a little bit nervous at the beginning of the match but I fought until the end so I’m very happy with that.

“When you don’t have a good day, you just have to play and not make easy mistakes.  I had to just keep her running because she was more tired than me.

Asked about how she rebounded from losing to Sung in the German Open final (see related article here), Marin said, “I don’t want to think aobut the German Open because I lost that match because of the umpire.  Of course, it was also my fault because I was thinking about the umpire.  After that, I always think about my strategy and what I have to do on court.

“Today I was a bit nervous and I was a little angry with myself because I didn’t think about what I have to do on court, I was thinking about the score and that made me feel more angry with myself.

“At the end, when she was leading 11-8, I just tried to tell myself to keep fighting and keep the shuttle on court because if I do, she will make mistakes.

“I don’t know what happened with the umpire.  I was very frustrated with that because I was sweating a lot and I needed the court cleaned because it was covered with sweat but I don’t understand why the umpire would not allow the court to be cleaned.  And sometimes I needed to take a towel-down but I couldn’t.

“I am frustrated with that because I have many things like that and when I see other matches, they can have the court cleaned, they can towel down so I don’t know what happens with me.”

Marin now awaits the outcome of the match between Saina Nehwal and Indonesia’s own Linda Wenifanetri.  While Marin was answering questions from the press, her fellow defending singles champion, Chen Long, was having a much easier time disposing of Japan’s Kento Momota in straight games, both of which he led virtually from start to finish.

Click here for complete semi-final results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @