WORLDS 2017 Day 3 – Zwiebler bows out

Day 3 of the World Championships finished with two three-game matches that saw Marc Zwiebler bow out of professional badminton in defeat to Chou Tien Chen, but the tears were […]

Day 3 of the finished with two three-game matches that saw Marc Zwiebler bow out of professional badminton in defeat to Chou Tien Chen, but the tears were reserved for both sides of the court as Mia Blichfeldt upset the odds to beat Sayaka Sato at the very end of the night.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from Glasgow. Photos: Badmintonphoto.

Marc Zwiebler (pictured left) bowed out of his final tournament with his head held high in an entertaining game of salmon dives and smashing to keep the crowd entertained in Glasgow late into the night.

Speaking after, the German said, “I’m obviously very disappointed, but my preparation was not very good this year. I’m getting old, and I have too many injuries.

“It was a good match and I tried to give everything, to entertain, and also enjoy it myself. I don’t feel any pressure. I’m half happy, half sad. I’ve been around 15 years now and that’s a long time,” he finished.

Dane Mia Blichfeldt (pictured right) ended the night in tears of joy, in stark contrast to her opponent Sato, who faded with the light as the night dragged on.

After a gruelling match, Blichfeldt commented, “It’s amazing, I’m just so happy. I didn’t expect to win, but I went I court thinking that I could.

“It was a tough game, in the second set I was too aggressive and I made all the mistakes and she made none. I had to keep moving, keep fighting, and I did it. Sometimes I get a physical block but this time not.”

Compatriots Viktor Axelsen, who easily beat Finland’s Eetu Heino, and Anders Antonsen (pictured left), who faced a tricky fixture against stalwart Tommy Sugiarto for the first time, will join Blichfeldt in tomorrow’s roster.

“It was great, very happy with that, I think I’m playing close to the best I’ve ever played here,” said Antonsen after beating Sugiarto in straight games.  “He’s a tough opponent, very good, so I just had to be tough, stay calm, and make sure I stayed in the really long rallies.”

Tomorrow he will face Srikanth Kidambi who was also on court for less than 40 minutes.

“I’m really looking forward to the game.  [Kidambi] has won the last two tournaments so he’s in great shape. It should be an exciting match, and obviously I go in as the underdog so I’ll just go in and look to play my best again.”

A contrasting fortune was found for another Dane Emil Holst, however, against Lin Dan, despite taking the first game in a close match. The Chinese player avoided the fate of fellow legend and rival Lee Chong Wei from day 2.

“Although he doesn’t have the highest world ranking, he is a very tough opponent.  Actually he beat me in February at the German Open so I’m very happy to prove myself against him,” said Lin.

Asked about his chances in the tournament, he said, “I have prepared a long time for the World Championships so I hope they are good. Of course the day after a very tough match is difficult as I’m very tired.”

For the part of his opponent, Emil Holst was clearly disappointed at the opportunity missed.

“I’m very disappointed as I thought I had a good chance there. I made many mistakes because I was very tired, then I tried to take the east solutions and it didn’t work.”

Rajiv Ouseph (pictured left) has the opportunity to win the “biggest match of his career” by setting up a round 3 match against Lin Dan, as Sameer Verma’s challenge faded after a close first game went the way of the Englishman.

“Looking back it was crucial to win the first set. I just had to stick to my game plan, I played well in the pressure points and I think that really took away his belief,” Ouseph said of today’s match.

“It’s really pleasing that I was playing my best badminton at the end of that second set, which will hopefully carry through to tomorrow. Obviously tomorrow will be a tough game, but he’s lost to a few players recently that he wouldn’t have 5 or 6 years ago so I can take heart from that.”

The full results for the day can be found here.

About Michael Burke