Carolina Marin eases past PV Sindhu in Swiss Open final

Reigning Olympic champion repeats Rio gold medal victory to make it three tour titles from four events in 2021.

By Sanjeev Palar
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Olympic champion Carolina Marin was all business as she beat PV Sindhu to take the Swiss Open in Basel on Sunday (7 March).

The rematch of the Rio 2016 final was the most anticipated contest of the first tournament of the new BWF World Tour season.

But it failed to live up to its billing as the Spaniard completely dominated her opponent, winning 21-12, 21-5 in just 35 minutes.

Marin looked the more confident of the pair early on and led 11-8 at the mid-game interval. The Indian could not seem to find her form as Marin cruised into a one-game lead.

Sindhu, who clinched her maiden world title in the same arena in 2019, was unable to find a response to Marin in the second game as the 27-year-old surged into a nine-point advantage at the halfway point.

Three-time world champion Marin seemed to grow in confidence as the match progressed and ran out an easy winner.

It is Marin's third tour title this year after she claimed back-to-back titles in Thailand and reached the final of the BWF World Tour Finals, only going down to Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu YIng.

Marin extends head-to-head lead

In senior badminton, this marks the 14th time that Marin and Sindhu have met with the Spaniard now holding a 9-5 lead.

Prior to this, the last time then pair met was back at the 2019 Indonesia Open quarter-finals, which Marin won. It was in this tournament that the Spaniard would later go on to suffer an ACL injury while playing the final. That injury saw the three-time world champion sidelined for over half a year.

Sindhu’s last win against the Spanish ace was in the quarter-finals of the 2018 Malaysia Open.

Following a disappointing start to the year, the 25-year-old opted to move out of her usual training base at the Pullela Gopichand Academy to train at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad under South Korean coach Park Tae Sang.

The Swiss Open marks the first tournament since that move, and the Olympic silver medallist will no doubt be aware of the task ahead of her if she wants to regain the form that carried her to the finals at Rio 2016.

For Marin, her incredible start to 2021 continues. The Spaniard has won 19 of the 20 matches she's played this year.

She will next take to the court in the All England Open in less than two weeks where she will meet Thailand's Supanida Katethong in the opening round.