Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin easily made it through to the semi-final stage of BWF World Tour Super 300 Syed Modi International Badminton Championships 2019, taking place in Lucknow, India. The three-time World Champion won her match against Russia's Evgeniya Kosetskaya 21-13, 21-16.
Another prominent player, Son Wan Ho of South Korea also won his quarterfinal match, but, in the process, knocked out higher-seeded local favourite Kidambi Srikanth with a 21,18, 21-19 win. He will now face Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei in the semis. The latter won his match in straight games as well.
The host nation's hopes in the men's singles division are kept alive by Sourabh Verma. He won his quarterfinal match against Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-19, 21-16. His opponent in the semi-final would be Heo Kwang Hee of South Korea.
Verma and Son are the favourites but the latter was seeded just one position above his semi-final opponent in this tournament. Hence, it won't be a cakewalk for him. On the other hand, Verma should get the better of his unseeded rival.
The women's division is revolving around Marin. Her curiously low seeding of 4 is due to her not having played too many tournaments in 2019 – a consequence of a terrible ACL injury suffered earlier this year. She is heads and shoulders above everyone else in her division and it would require a big upset for her to not win the title.
Marin's opponent though, Kim Ga Eun, is the person who defeated An Se Young in the round of 16. An's exit makes the task of the Spaniard easier since she had lost to the 17-year old Korean girl in the final of French Open earlier this year.
The victory over An would give Kim great confidence. She would need all of it and more to conquer the hard-hitting and physically intense play of Marin. Once the Olympic gold medalist gets in her groove, she is hard to stop.