Odense: World No. 4 Nozomi Okuhara of Japan sealed the first Denmark Open title of her career on Sunday when she completed a comprehensive straight-sets victory over World No. 6 Carolina Marin of Spain. It’s also worth noting that this was also Okuhara’s first title in 2 years. Okuhara’s last international title was the 2018 Hong Kong Open, where she overcame Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-19, 24-22.
Okuhara was pushed by Marin all the way in the first set in the Denmark Open final, as the score was tied for 11 times (2-2, 3-3, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 11-11, 12-12, 13-13, 15-15, 17-17, 18-18). However, Marin appeared frustrated by Okuhara who seemed to have endless energy as the Japanese managed to chase down very shuttlecock hit to her and returned it with dividends. Okuhara picked up the first game 21-19 in 26 minutes.
Marin gave Okuhara a tough fight in the first half of the second game, but Okuhara countered with body smashes and avoided giving too many net shots by moving Marin to the left and right baseline. That strategy proved working when Marin failed to return a cross-court smash from Okuhara towards her right backcourt, and Okuhara celebrated the victory with a fist pump by wrapping up the second game 21-17 in 30 minutes.
“Marin is a very quick and aggressive player. My defense was good and I covered the court well today,” said Okuhara.
“I made a lot of mistakes today,” Marin admitted she made too many errors.
In an all-Japanese women’s doubles final, No. 1 seeds Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota saw off compatriots No. 2 seed Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara 21-10, 16-21, 21-18 for the Denmark Open title.