Gregoria keeps rising thanks to her self-belief

Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska in action against China’s Wang Zhiyi during the quarter-finals match of Malaysian Masters at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil on Friday. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

GREGORIA Mariska attributes her continued rise this year to her self-confidence.

The Indonesian women’s singles shuttler had captured her first World Tour title at the Spain Masters last month and reached a career high No. 9 in the latest world rankings.

But it was not always smooth sailing as Gregoria had not started the year well.

The 23-year-old was eliminated in the second round of both the Malaysian and Indian Opens in January before her form slowly picked up.

“Before this, there were times when I doubted my quality,” said Gregoria.

“This affected my performances on court.

“But now, I’m playing with more belief.

“I’m happy with what I have achieved so far but I want more from myself.”

Yesterday, 2017 world junior champion Gregoria reached the semi-finals of the Malaysian Masters after claiming an impressive 21-11, 21-14 win over China’s world No. 8 Wang Zhiyi at the Axiata Arena. It was the Indonesian’s first win over Zhiyi in senior competitions.

Gregoria had lost both her previous meetings with Zhiyi in the Malaysian and Singapore Opens.

“I had lost to her twice and was determined to win this time,” said Gregoria.

“She is a good player but I managed to anticipate her shots better and control the match.”

Gregoria had also reached the last four in last year’s edition before losing to eventual champion An Se-young of South Korea.

This time, Gregoria is out to do better.

She will take on India’s 2019 world champion P.V. Sindhu in the last four today.

Sindhu had to dig deep to overcome another Chinese player Zhang Yiman 21-16, 13-21, 22-20 in a pulsating match that lasted 74 minutes.

Gregoria had stunned Sindhu in the final of the Spain Masters.

It was her first win over the Indian after losing all seven of their previous encounters.

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