Carolina Marin takes on Minatsu Mitani in the Women's singles semi-final of the ongoing German Open Grand Prix Gold in Mulheim on Saturday (Sunday morning, Singapore time).
The top seed, after beginning the season with an appearance at the European Mixed Team Championships last month, has been tested right from the first round in the ongoing tournament. Marin though has refused to give it up and battle hard to book a place in the last-four stages.
The reigning Olympic champion was pushed to the limits for the second time in Germany on Friday by her quarter-final opponent Sayaka Sato in a match, that extended for an hour and four minutes. Marin opened the match by taking the first game 21-17 but slipped in the second 17-21 only to make a strong comeback and clinch the decider 21-13.
Marin has found it difficult to progress past the semi-final stages in the tournaments she played after her gold medal-winning campaign in Rio last year. However, being the top seed, the 23-year-old should be feeling confident about going the distance here. While she has not met her semi-final opponent Minatsu earlier, the Spaniard starts as favourite.
Minatsu, on the other hand, was tested by Japanese shuttler Ayumi Mine in her quarter-final yesterday but she came back from being one game down to clinch the match 10-21, 21-18, 21-5. The world number 25 had got the better of top-ranked Chinese shuttlers He Bingjiao and Chen Yufei last year but she has to punch above her weight to stand a chance against the in-form Marin.
India: Star Sports
Singapore: Hub Sports 3
Malaysia: Astro Supersport