China’s badminton juggernaut no longer strikes fear among competitors as players now are good enough to “break the Chinese wall” and end their dominance in the sport, world number one Carolina Marin said Monday.
The two-time world champion was in a confident mood during a news conference ahead of this week’s Singapore Open.
“If you compare the past with the present, I want to say that all of the players, we are not scared to play against the Chinese,” she said.
“I think we (can) break the Chinese wall… We are in a good condition to play against Chinese players.”
Marin, 22, has been the scourge of badminton powerhouse China and is the first Spaniard to win a world title as well as to win an All-England Open title.
China steamrollered to 14 All-England women’s singles titles in 18 years until Marin’s rise to prominence a year-and-a-half ago.
Marin’s All-England victory in 2015 has since been followed by the triumph of Japan’s Nozumi Okuhara last month, denying the Chinese a chance at redemption for a second straight year.
While she has not won a title since her triumph at the Hong Kong Open in November last year, Marin said she is not worried.
“I think that it’s not pressure. I am the world number one but I don’t want to think that I have to win all the tournaments. It is really difficult to win many tournaments like I did last year,” she said.
“I’d like to win as much as I can but I also know that it is very difficult to win always. The important thing right now is to keep my focus on what I have to do every game.”
Marin had a stellar 2015, defending her World Championship title in August and shooting to the top of the rankings from number eight.
While the Singapore Open will be the last Superseries event before the Spaniard heads to Rio, Marin said she will treat the tournament no differently.
“I don’t feel it is different compared with another tournament. But of course it’s an important tournament to win and I would like to do my best here.” – Agence France-Presse