A fully fit-again Carolina Marin issued a resounding statement of intent after coming through a three-game battle with long-time on-court foe Pusarla V. Sindhu at PETRONAS Malaysia Open 2023.
Marin suffered her second anterior cruciate (ACL) injury, in her left knee, during training in June 2021, forcing her to skip the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and World Championships in her hometown of Huelva. She returned after 10 months but was never convinced she had reached her old level in the tournaments that followed.
“Now I’m feeling much better. I haven’t got any pain in my knees,” Marin, whose first ACL injury in her other knee in 2019 kept her out for eight months, said after her 21-12 10-21 21-15 win over Pusarla.
“Last year, mentally it was tough. I don’t think anyone can imagine how I suffered, I’m lucky to be playing. I’m not scared to face anyone (now) and I’m ready for this year.”
On her bout with Sindhu, who she beat in the Olympic final at Rio 2016, Marin said: “It was a good game. It was important to control the drift because that’s not easy to do in this hall.
“I knew from the beginning my first round was going to be tough. When you are not seeded, you can face any opponent, including a top seed,” added the former world No.1, now occupying the ninth spot on the rankings.
Marin’s last 16 opponent is Pornpawee Chochuwong. The Thai trails their head-to-head 8-1.