Reigning Olympic champion and three-time World champion Carolina Marin, who has played many tough matches against Saina and Sindhu has said she has to push herself to the limit whenever she plays against India’s shuttle sensations.
“Saina and Sindhu are fantastic players. I admire both of them a lot, and when I play against them, I always need to force myself to the limit,” revealed former World No. 1 shuttler Marin in an exclusive interview to TimesofIndia.com.
The Spaniard, who is gunning for her second successive Olympic gold at the Tokyo Olympics next year, has great respect for the Indian players after having played quite a few tough finals against them in the past. Marin, who has a 8-6 win-loss record against Sindhu and a 7-6 head-to-head count against Saina, has had to work hard to register victory against her Indian opponents.
When asked which Indian player she finds toughest to beat, Marin replied, “Very difficult to say. All of them are very good players, as Indian badminton is at the top of the world. I have played very tough finals against Saina in 2015, and in 2016 and 2018 against Sindhu.”
Marin dished out an attacking display to beat Sindhu in the 2018 World Championships finals, becoming the first woman to claim three World Championship titles.
Marin had previously beaten Saina in the 2015 World Championship final.
The 27-year-old Spanish sensation has a strong connection with India after having played in the lucrative Premier Badminton League (PBL) for quite some time. Marin led her franchise Hyderabad Hunters to their maiden title win in 2018 and last played for Pune 7 Aces in 2019 before pulling out of the 2020 edition.
(Photo: Clive Brunskill/GettyImages)
Marin returns to play in the league every year because of the adulation she gets from her fans in India. What surprised her was the praise she continued to receive from her Indian fans despite her beating Sindhu in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics, to deny the Indian shuttle queen the gold.
“After winning the Olympic Games gold in 2016 against Sindhu, I couldn’t believe how charming all the Indian fans were with me, as I thought they were not going to be happy with me at all. That’s an incredible memory that will last with me forever, ” a somewhat surprised Marin told TimesofIndia.com.
Four-time European champion Marin feels it’s like playing at home when she plays in India.
“I can also say anytime I play there (in India) I feel like being at home, and I would like to thank all of my fans for all those fantastic moments that I have lived there with them,” Marin, who has a huge fan following in India, further said.