Kuala Lumpur, Jan 16 (IANS) Spanish badminton great Carolina Marin struggled in her first-round match at the Malaysia Masters but managed to pull out a 21-19, 25-23 victory here on Wednesday over Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol.
Marin seemed to have the first game under control at Axiata Arena when she took a 20-15 lead on an error in the net by Jindapol, but the Thai player capitalised on some unforced errors by the Spaniard to close to 20-19, reports Efe news.
The three-time world champion and 2016 Olympic gold medalist in women’s singles, however, finally clinched the opener on her fifth game point when a Jindapol forehand sailed over the back boundary line.
Marin also had a late lead in the second game, holding three match points after Jindapol committed a service error and then netted a forehand.
But the resilient Thai saved all of them, taking the score to 20-20 when the Spaniard netted a smash.
After Jindapol saved two more match points (and Marin saved one game point), the Spaniard finally clinched the tough first-round victory when the Thai player sent one final shuttle into the net.
“Tough match today but we are in the Round of 16!” the sixth-ranked Marin wrote on Twitter after defeating her 18th-ranked opponent.
Next up for the Spaniard in Thursday’s round of 16 will be China’s Gao Fangjie, who defeated Malaysian Soniia Cheah 19-21, 21-5, 21-13 in her opening match.
The Malaysia Masters is first of the BWF World Tour’s seven Super 500 events, a level of tournament that typically attracts most of the world’s best players across five events (men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles).