Spain's Carolina Marin reacts during the women's singles match against Chen Xiaoxin of China at Indonesia Open 2017 at Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta, June 13, 2017 (Xinhua/Du Yu)
Jakarta, June 13 (IANS) Olympic 2016 women's singles badminton champion Carolina Marin of Spain was stunned by Chinese rising star Chen Xiaoxin 12-21, 21-10, 20-22 in the first round of the Indonesia Open World Superseries Premier here on Tuesday night.
Xiaoxin matched Marin in terms of power, size, athleticism and competitive fire, with both players celebrating their winning points with loud screams, reports Efe.
The Spaniard seemed on the verge of the second round when she grabbed a 20-18 lead in the third game, but Xiaoxin reeled off four straight points -- the last when a shot by Marin drifted over the back boundary line -- to pull off the upset.
The tension was palpable at the end of the match, as China is eager to find a new phenomenon to challenge Marin and Taiwanese world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying in women's singles.
The Asian giant, the traditional powerhouse in badminton, may have found that player in the 19-year-old Xiaoxin, who has climbed more than 100 ranking places since December and is currently No. 33.
The second-seeded Marin, who will be looking to win her third straight world title in August in Glasgow, won the European Badminton Championships for the third straight time in April but has yet to win a Superseries title this season.
Marin told Efe days before Tuesday's match that a lower-back injury was still causing her pain.