Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin is trying hard to get her mojo back. The fiery Spaniard, who dominated the courts at the Rio Olympics, didn’t have a very satisfying last year owing to injuries that saw her rankings fall, conceded matches and faltered in final junctures. Her only major title last season was the Japan Open Superseries when she defeated home favourite and world champion Nozomi Okuhara.
Playing the third tournament of the season at the India Open 2018, the 24-year-old from Huelva, Spain, failed to advance after the quarter-finals. With a strong team to back her when she is laid low with injuries or a poor performance, the Spaniard is not too worried. Marin said she will be 100 percent ready for the All England Championships, sending a strong warning to her opponents. The multiple-time European champion is yet to bag a title at the All England Championships.
“After an injury, it’s really tough to keep going mentally but I have a really good team behind me who is supporting me every day. It’s important for me to have a very good preparation and to believe in myself. During my injury period, I had to change my game as I didn’t get so much time to prepare for tournaments. I want to keep my focus on improving my game now,” said Marin after losing to Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi 12-21, 19-21 at the Siri Fort stadium here.
“I feel my performance is not 100 percent. It would be there in the All England Championships. I want to keep improving my game. Last year it was hard because I had injuries after Olympics and my body needed a long break. I want to focus on improving my game after this event. And that would be the key,” added the former World No. 1 who reached a couple of semi-finals and four finals last year.
This time at the Siri Fort courts, Marin didn’t have her long-time coach and mentor Fernando Revas on the sidelines. However, she said she had another coach Ernesto Garcia to help her out. “Fernando has a baby now. So he can’t travel with me everywhere. So when he is not here, I have to keep my focus on every game and on myself. There is another coach who has accompanied me. I am sure the year before the Olympics, Fernando will be with travelling with me more frequently.”
Marin frustrated with umpire
When asked what went wrong for her on the day, Marin blasted the Indian chair umpire Nitin Soman for her frustration during the match.
“The umpire was really irritating. He acted as a protagonist and allowed shuttle change only when he wanted. It was frustrating. I was also not able to get my rhythm which I need to improve,” said the former world champion who is heading to Spain after two months of back-to-back tournaments including Premier Badminton league here. “I know I committed too many mistakes. Now I go back to Spain and will try to analyze my game and work on it.”
The aggressive shuttler, however, admitted that she was slowly getting her form back and with more tournaments, she will be back to her best.
“I feel I am more motivated with myself. I want to keep improving my game and that’s the key during this period until All England Championship,” added the 24-year-old who feels the competition in women’s singles has become stronger now.
“Any player in top 20 can win any tournament. Because we have the same level so we have to be match ready for every tournament,” she added.
Marin will be next seen in action 2018 European men’s and women’s team championships this month.
Published 02 Feb 2018, 20:06 IST