Three-time world champion Carolina Marin, on her comeback trail from a year-long injury layoff, led the way for Spain’s 4-1 victory in their final Uber Cup Group B tie against Australia.
Marin acknowledged that she was at “50 or 60 per cent” following surgery for a left knee ACL injury that she sustained a year ago. The Spaniard wasn’t her usual bustling self but still had sufficient firepower to down Wendy Chen 21-12 21-18.
“Actually, I don’t know exactly how much I am but maybe around 50 per cent… 50 or 60 per cent,” Marin said. “I came two days ago just to play this game. I have some jetlag. My condition is not the best. Also, I couldn’t practice in the main hall. So when I got on court today, I just wanted to see how the shuttle is going, how is the drift. So I was just trying to control it. And in the second game, I was in the faster side so I needed to control the shuttle.”
How was it to be back on the circuit after a year?
“It feels really good to play international tournaments and to meet all my opponents,” said Marin. “I’m happy that I can say hello to everyone once again. So yeah, happy to be back.
“You know, I’m not 100 per cent yet. But we are working to be much better than what I did last week at the European Championships. So now my condition is that I need to train harder. And I need to work a little bit more. And also, we have to still care about my knee.”
Marin said she would aim to get in her best shape by the World Championships in August.
“I think I will give my best at the World Championships, this is the main goal. Tomorrow I’m going back home. I have three weeks to get ready again because in June we have two Indonesia Opens and then Malaysia. So it’s going to be a long period now for the summer. I just want to prepare this this month.”
Sung Troubles He Bing Jiao
♦ Chinese Taipei were outclassed by China 5-0 in Uber Cup Group B but Sung Shuo Yun, playing third singles, nearly upset He Bing Jiao. The Chinese looked under pressure from the start and trailed through the third game, but used her greater experience to snatch the last few points and keep a clean slate for China.
♦ In Uber Cup Group C, Thailand blanked Denmark 5-0, but it was a hard-fought tie, with three matches going the distance. Ratchanok Intanon provided the breakthrough for the hosts, with a 21-13 21-19 win over Mia Blichfeldt.