Vietnam's Linh praised by world badminton number 5 after shock victory

By Hieu Luong   November 22, 2023 | 11:26 pm PT
Vietnam's Linh praised by world badminton number 5 after shock victory
Nguyen Thuy Linh celebrates her victory over world's fifth seed Carolina Marin in the opening round of the LI-NING China Masters 2023 on Nov. 22, 2023. Photo by BWF
The world’s fifth seed Carolina Marin complimented Vietnamese badminton star Nguyen Thuy Linh after losing to her in the opening round of the Chinese Masters 2023 on Wednesday.

It was the players’ first meeting and Marin, 30, said Linh was the better competitor.

"Really frustrated that I could not control myself. Disappointed, of course. I think she played much better than me, she didn’t make many mistakes," said Marin, a Rio Olympics gold medalist and three-time world champion, as cited by a post on the Badminton World Federation website.

"She fought for every point. She was very constant in the game and I wasn’t feeling very good," the Spanish star said of her Vietnamese opponent, who is world number 22.

Linh, 26, was stunned with her victory.

"I just wanted to try my best and I knew she would attack a lot, so I had to defend and be patient and follow her speed," she said.

"I never thought I could beat her, I thought I’d try my best when I’m on court. I want to thank everyone who helped me. I will try my best for every match."

Linh entered the game anxious and lost the first set. But after receiving advice from her coach, she played with more confidence and won both the second and third sets.

Wednesday victory was the biggest of Linh's career.

She continued to beat world number 20 Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt from Denmark on Thursday to enter the tournament's quarterfinals.

The China Masters 2023 is taking place in Shenzhen from Nov. 21-26, gathering over 300 players from around the world, including the number one female player AnSe-young of South Korea, number two Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, and number three Chen Yu Fei of China.

Among the male players are world number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, number two Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, and number three Kodai Naraoka of Japan.

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