Marin: ‘Women’s singles is toughest event’

With players from seven countries occupying the top 10 places in the current ranking, reigning Olympic champion and former World champion Carolina and her Fernando Rivas acknowledge the increase in competition.

Carolina's coach Fernando Rivas admitted that it would be tougher than ever for the Spaniard to maintain her level.   -  AP

The keen competition in women's singles has risen the odds for World No. 4 Carolina Marin to get back to the top of the world ranking.

With players from seven countries occupying the top 10 places in the current ranking, reigning Olympic champion and former World champion Carolina and her coach Fernando Rivas acknowledge the increase in competition.

“Women’s singles is growing a lot and is the most difficult to play because the top 10 players have the same level and each can win any tournament. So we have to innovate and keep pressing our opponent,” said Carolina, sporting the Hyderabad Hunters colours in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) here on Sunday.

Carolina's coach Fernando Rivas admitted that it would be tougher than ever for the Spaniard to maintain her level. “Besides Ying Tai Tzu, Nozomi Okuhara, two three Chinese players are also coming up. That is the beauty of women's singles. Players coming into the top 10 keep changing. It is always open and challenging. As a country with no tradition in badminton we have to be ready for all these challengers. We have no help, so it is not so easy.

“If I want Carolina to be back at the top of the world, then I have to get analysis of all these players.”

Rivas did not rule out the possibility of the women's singles becoming the most closely fought badminton event in 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “Definitely, (want to see) Marin (in the final). That's our goal. I am sure the Japanese players will be ready, they are playing at home.”

Rivas rated Japan, having players like Akane Yamaguchi, Nozomi Okuhara and three others in the top 20, as the new superpower in women's singles. “They are the superpower. If you look at the top 100 world ranking, more than 10 per cent players are Japanese. So, if that's not a superpower, what is?”

Rivas said Carolina, who withdrew from the Dubai Superseries because of an injury picked up at the Hong Kong Open in November, would try to recover fast and get back to full form.