DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Nozomi Okuhara defeated Spain’s Carolina Marin, the winner of the last two worlds, in straight sets in the women’s badminton singles Saturday to become the first Japanese to reach the final of the BWF Super Series.
The 20-year-old Okuhara, ranked ninth in the world, overcame Marin 21-11, 21-12 in the semifinals , a day after she defeated her 22-year-old counterpart 21-9, 21-15 to make it three out of three in the group stage.
“It’s a good experience being able to face the world champion more than once,” said Okuhara, who made is 3-2 in head-to-head meetings ith Marin. “I wasn’t afraid of losing and was prepared to play my way.”
In the women’s doubles, the world No. 1 pair of Misaki Matsumoto and Ayaka Takahashi lost 21-19, 21-19 to China’s Luo Ying and Luo Yu in the semifinals, failing to retain the title they won last year.
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