NEW DELHI Ė Spainís Carolina Marin suffered a surprising upset in the quarterfinals of the India Open badminton tournament, losing 21-12, 21-19 Friday to Hong Kongís Cheung Ngan-yi.
The fifth-ranked Marin, who is the reigning Olympic womenís singles gold medalist and a two-time world champion, came into the match at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium in New Delhi as the heavy favorite and appeared to on her way to a routine victory when she grabbed an 11-8 advantage at the first mid-game interval.
But Cheung benefited from that pause and some advice from her coach, reeling off nine straight points to take a 17-11 lead and then wrapping up the first game a few points later.
The Spaniard appeared to turn things around and held the advantage for most of the second game before one final surge by Cheung gave her the victory.
With the loss, Marin came away empty handed in the seasonís first three Super 500 events, a group of tournaments in Asia that are part of the new BWF World Tour and attract many of the worldís top players.
In January, she lost in the semifinals of the Malaysia Masters to Taiwanese world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying before falling in the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Masters to Chinaís He Bingjiao.
In other action, the top seed in womenís singles, fourth-ranked Indian P.V. Sindhu, dropped a game to Spainís Beatriz Corrales but advanced to Saturdayís semifinals with a 21-12, 19-21, 21-11 victory.
She will next take on this yearís Malaysia Masters champion and current world No. 3, Thailandís Ratchanok Intanon, who continued her strong start to the season by routing Hong Kongís Yip Pui-yin 21-11, 21-11 in Friday quarterfinal action.
The India Open awards total prize money of $350,000 across five categories: menís singles, womenís singles, menís doubles, womenís doubles and mixed doubles.