Carolina Marin sets up Japan Open final with He Bingjiao after Nozomi Okuhara pulls out

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Carolina Marin reaches the 2017 Japan Open final. (photo: AP)
Carolina Marin reaches the 2017 Japan Open final. (photo: AP)

Tokyo: Two-time women’s singles world champion Carolina Marin barely broke a sweat in Japan Open semi-finals, as she was handed a walkover by the 2017 World Champion Nozomi Okuhara before the start of the semi-final match.

Okuhara who was aiming to reclaim the trophy on home soil after winning it in 2015, said at a news conference that she had to withdraw from the tournament due to swelling in her right knee that began after her second-round match on Thursday.

“I received treatment and tried my best to recover, but it didn’t get to the point where I thought I could compete.”

“I was ready to fight emotionally and I wanted to, but my body was telling me that I can’t.”

Marin will clash with sixth-seeded left-hander He Bingjiao from China, who picked up a 21-14, 25-23 semi-final victory over compatriot Chen Yufei.

In women’s doubles, top-seeded Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo edged compatriots Yuki Fukushima/ Sayaka Hirota, seeded eighth, 21-11, 21-15 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium to earn a berth in the Japan Open women’s doubles final.

Takahashi and Matsutomo, who captured a gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, will face South Korea’s Kim Ha-na and Kong Hee-yong in Sunday’s final.

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