Carolina Marin sets up Nozomi Okuhara showdown in Japan Open final

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Carolina Marin enters Japan Open final. (photo: AFP)
Carolina Marin enters Japan Open final. (photo: AFP)

Tokyo: The 25-year-old Carolina Marin of Spain who became the first woman to win three women’s singles World Badminton Championships titles in Nanjing, China last month, advanced to the final of Japan Open with a comfortable straight-set victory over No. 5 seed Chen Yufei from China at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo on Saturday.

Marin needed only 19 minutes to take the first set 21-12, before winning the second set 21-13. The No. 6 seed Marin will set up a mouthwatering clash with No. 8 seed and local favorite Nozomi Okuhara in the final.

Meanwhile, Okuhara advanced on home soil, beating compatriot Aya Ohori 21-12, 21-12 in the semi-final.

In mixed doubles, Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying battle hard but were forced to go down in the hands of Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong of China 16-21, 21-17, 14-21 in the semi-finals of the Japan Open.

“Today we played pretty well, but I believed we can do better. Both of us really wanted to win to bad which made us lost our focus and being too impatient on the court,” said Chan.

However, the Malaysian pair has three days of preparation before facing the world champions again in the first round of 2018 China Open in Changzhou next Tuesday.

“We have to be prepared from the mental and physical aspects next week as they will be playing at home,” added Chan.

“Anyhow, we will not give up easily,” stressed Chan.

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