Carolina Marin grabbed the prestigious China Open Super 1000 badminton tournament title by beating Tai Tzu Ying in only her second competitive appearance since suffering a career-threatening knee injury earlier this year.

The 26-year-old Spaniard, who had suffered an ACL tear during the Indonesia Masters Final against Saina Nehwal in January, fought from a game down to beat Tai 14-21, 21-17, 21-18 in an hour and five minutes and then slumped on the court unable to hold back her tears.

Marin had returned to international action at the Vietnam Open last week, having pulled out of the World Championship at the last minute explaining that she wasn’t 100% ready for competition. In Vietnam, she lost in the opening round Thailand’s Supanida Katethong in straight games raising a question mark over her overall physical condition.

But after coming to the China Open as the defending champion, she began by packing off world championship finallist Nozomi Okuhara in straight games and fought back from a game down in two successive matches, against local favourite He Bingjiao and Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi to reach the final.

In the final, Marin was at a disadvantage as she played from the difficult side first up and did not find her rhythm. But the change of ends allowed her to start playing longer rallies and slowly but surely, she start dictating terms in the final.

Her confidence showed in the first half of the decider when she managed to raise the tempo and push Tai Tzu into playing longer rallies from the difficult side and ended up changing ends with a point advantage.

She then raced to a 19-13 lead before Tai Tzu clawed her way back with a few high-quality strokes. But Marin was in no mood to be denied as she once again engaged her opponent in long rallies and then wrapped up the match by forcing the former world number one into yet another mistake.

Marin is now slated to play the Korea Open next week where she will face Chen Yufei in the opening round.