Carolina Marin edges Nozomi Okuhara for Japan Open title

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Carolina Marin wins the 2018 Japan Open title. (photo: AFP)
Carolina Marin wins the 2018 Japan Open title. (photo: AFP)

Tokyo: In a battle between the queen of offense – Carolina Marin of Spain, against the queen of defense – Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, the Olympic champion Marin defended her Japan open title by outlasting Okuhara 21-19, 17-21, 21-11 in the women’s singles final on Sunday.

Although Okuhara fought back from dropping the first set to force a decider, the Spanish star unleashed a barrage of smashes to break Okuhara’s defense to finally brought an end to the 74-minute thriller.

Carolina Marin poses with Nozomi Okuhara at the Japan Open award ceremony. (photo: AFP)
Carolina Marin poses with Nozomi Okuhara at the Japan Open award ceremony. (photo: AFP)

This was Marin’s second international title of the season, after winning her historic third world championship title last month in Nanjing, China.

The women’s doubles saw No. 1 seeds Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota of Japan overcoming No. 3 seeds Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan of China 21-15, 21-12 for the crown.

China used to be a powerhouse in women’s doubles. It has won seven consecutive Japan Open women’s doubles titles from 2005 until 2011. However, China has not been able to win the Japan Open women’s doubles event in the past three years.

In the all-Chinese mixed doubles final, No. 1 seeds Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong put on a dominant display, beating defending champions and No. 2 seeds Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping 21-19, 21-8 to claim the trophy.

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