Carolina Marin is not talented, says her coach Fernando

"She is not talented. What I can say is that she had the potential. You can be talented but if you are not working hard, it gets you nowhere. You only see the results but not the process. Let me tell you, she was worked for eight hours a day, everyday, to reach this far."

Marin is loving her time in the PBL. “It’s unbelievable. It feels great to find my fans in different cities of India and they wish to take selfies with me."   -  ap

Carolina Marin is more popular in India than in Spain, if one goes by the demand on her time during the ongoing Premier Badminton League.

“It’s unbelievable. It feels great to find my fans in different cities of India and they wish to take selfies with me. Even when I was playing Hyderabad, a large number of supporters were backing me against P. V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. It is very nice of them. It is not the same in Spain. But after I won in Rio, I can see more people playing badminton in my country. It is not like football and tennis, but it is picking up,” said the charming champion, who beat the two leading Indian ladies on successive days to justify her worth for Hyderabad Hunters.

> Marin: 'I want to work harder to stay at the top'

The World and Olympic champion is modest about her achievements and wishes to add more to her collection that includes the European and All England titles. “Everyone wants to beat me. But I am keen to win back my World No. 1 spot. Today, among those in the world’s top-10 list, anyone can beat anyone. So it’s really close. This year, I wish to win more super titles and keep the world title (for the third time),” said the 23-year-old World No. 2 ahead of Hyderabad Hunters’ last league match against host and defending champion Delhi Acers.

Her coach, Fernando Rivas who is known to be a tough task-master, maintained that her student has put in more hard-work in all these years. “She is not talented. What I can say is that she had the potential. You can be talented but if you are not working hard, it gets you nowhere. You only see the results but not the process. Let me tell you, she was worked for eight hours a day, everyday, to reach this far. She works very hard, believe me.”

Meanwhile, World No. 2 Jan O Jorgensen candidly stated that he came for this edition of PBL to enjoy himself. “To be honest, I had a tough 2016 and after working hard all the way, I thought it would be nice to enjoy 14 days here. We, as a team (Delhi Acers), played as hard as we could but it was not enough. We won our last match and hope to win again (on Thursday).”

Delhi Acers was clearly the best team, at least on paper, when the auctions were held. However, despite having the services of Jorgensen and World No. 4 Son Wan Ho, the defending champion became the first team to be out of contention for a place in the semifinal.

So, what went wrong?

“Nothing was specifically wrong,” said G. Jwala who pointed to the 11-point system and extensive travel as possible reasons for the team’s dismal showing. “It doesn’t really matter in this point-format as who is in your team. Even if we had the best doubles pair in our team, there was no guarantee that we would have done well. Look at Mumbai, with two Indian singles players, they have done so well.”