In a result that will please the local crowd, reigning Olympic and former World champion Carolina Marin booked her spot in the final of BWF World Tour Super 300 Syed Modi International Badminton Championships. She got the better of her South Korean opponent Kim Ga Eun 22-20, 21-16 in a match that could be regarded as the final before the final.
At the start of the match, it seemed as if Marin was playing at less than her 100%. The Olympic Champion is known for her powerful, high-speed game when she is in peak form. But here, Kim managed to deal with her relatively easily and took an early lead. She was aided by some errors from Marin which again suggested that she hadn't got into her stride.
But that's when the competitive nature of the Spaniard came to the fore. Her characteristic celebration of screaming loudly while pumping her fist returned and she became faster in her game. Marin also started to play from the front court more often and attack the South Korean with body smashes. This gave her the lead.
But the Korean wasn't going to give up easily. She fought her way back again and reached parity. At 19-19, Kim committed a silly error when she went for the kill and smashed the shuttle into the net. This gave the southpaw a game point but she herself hit the ball into the net to lose it. However, this didn't prove too costly as Marin eventually won the game.
The second game saw Marin racing to a 3-0 lead which suggested that the match could become one-sided in the second game. But Kim against showed her fighting spirit to wipe out the deficit. She started retrieving a lot more shots and playing longer rallies. This created an additional challenge for Marin.
The three-time World Champion now displayed her tenacity by soaking up the pressure of long rallies and also playing some deft net shots. She managed to create a good distance between her and the Korean lady. However, there were some key errors at the crucial moment from Kim and she ended up losing the second game as well and conceding the match to Marin.
In the other, much lower-profile semi-final, Thailand's Phittayaporn Chaiwan proved to be a heartbreaker for the local crowd as she defeated India's Rituparna Das 24-22, 21-15.
It goes without saying that Marin would be the big favourite and it would require and upset of gargantuan proportions for her to not win the title. But still, one can never be sure in sports. Let's wait and watch.