Marin Breathes Down Tai’s Neck – Destination Dubai Rankings: Women’s Singles
Thursday, May 04, 2017 - Dubai, England, India, Malaysia, Singapore, World Superseries, World Superseries Finals
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO

Tai Tzu Ying’s sparkling form might be the talking point of the MetLife BWF World Superseries season, but a certain Carolina Marin hasn’t done too badly either.

Chinese Taipei’s Tai has had the badminton world in her thrall with three Superseries victories this season following up on her two late-season flourishes last year. However, reigning World and Olympic champion Carolina Marin looms large in her rearview mirror in the Destination Dubai Rankings.

Marin (featured image) is just 200 points short of No.1 Tai – thanks to three straight runner-up finishes: at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open, Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open and the OUE Singapore Open, following a quarter-final at the Yonex All England. Also, Marin played one tournament more than Tai, who skipped the India Open.

Although Marin has not won a Superseries this year, her form signifies that she is on her way back up after some injury niggles earlier this year.

The top eight players on the Destination Dubai Rankings at the end of 12 Superseries events will be invited for the Dubai World Superseries Finals in the desert city in December.

Sung Ji Hyun is third; the consistent Korean having made the semi-finals of all four Superseries, and thrice falling to the eventual champion.

Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi has maintained her form of 2016 and reached the semi-finals in England and India besides the quarter-finals in Malaysia and Singapore. The Japanese finds herself at No.4, while her compatriot Nozomi Okuhara, who has looked a far cry from her usual indefatigable self, is at No.7. Okuhara’s best was a semi-final showing at the Malaysia Open.

Pusarla V Sindhu (No.5) continued from where she left off in 2016 – the Indian achieved a memorable home Superseries victory to emulate senior compatriot Saina Nehwal’s triumph of 2015. While Pusarla is enjoying some of her career-best form, Nehwal has yet to rediscover hers; the former World No.1 was quarter-finalist in England and India and fell four places to No.12.

Ratchanok Intanon was defending her 2016 hat-trick of titles in India, Malaysia and Singapore, but an ankle injury discomfited her and the Thai was way off-course. A runner-up finish in England was followed by quarter-final exits in India and Malaysia and a first-round loss in Singapore. Despite that, Intanon is at No.6, just 290 points behind Pusarla.

China’s highest-ranked player is Sun Yu, quarter-finalist in England, Malaysia and Singapore. Sun is at No.8, two places higher than her compatriot, World Junior champion Chen Yufei, who has shot up the ranks rapidly. Chen’s best was a quarter-final in Malaysia, where she nearly toppled Tai and showed signs that she would be one of the players to watch this year.

The third Japanese in the top ten is Minatsu Mitani, who took Marin twice to three games this season. Mitani’s best showing in Superseries was a quarter-final (in India), helping her climb one spot to No.9.

Top Ten (Women’s Singles)

1.Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei)

2.Carolina Marin (Spain)

3.Sung Ji Hyun (Korea)

4.Akane Yamaguchi (Japan)

5.Pusarla V Sindhu (India)

6.Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand)

7.Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)

8.Sun Yu (China)

9.Minatsu Mitani (Japan)

10.Chen Yufei (China)

(Top 8 plus those nearest in contention)

Click here for Destination Dubai Rankings

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