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Fons Van der Vorst
YONEX Belgian International: A special feeling
Date: 9/15/2022 11:56 AM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
The first two rounds were played today in the YONEX Belgian International 2022, and we now know which players will be fighting in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning.

There was no time to lose at the YONEX Belgian International today. Players had to compete in the round of 32 and the round of 16, making it two matches before they could compete in the quarterfinals tomorrow. The second day of the tournament gave us some tough, well-fought, lengthy matches.

A deserving support for the players
The home crowd got to experience some important feats from their home heroes. Clara Lassaux faced Edith Urell, Sweden, and despite opening the encounter with a win in the first game, Lassaux ended up losing 21-19, 19-21, 12-21.

Julien Carraggi’s start in the main draw was with a match against Centre of Excellence’s Milan Dratva, Slovakia. Carraggi “found his length” and took the win in straight games, 21-14 21-17. 

“It’s my fifth time I think, and this is my first time winning a match in the main draw so it’s a special feeling, of course. Especially with the family and everyone coming to support”, Carraggi explained after the win in his first match. “I’m not used to having people and even kids shouting and supporting from the stands. It is a little bit deserving and it helps a lot, it’s nice.”

The warmth of the support from the local crowd can give an extra push of strength for the local players. Joran Kweekel, the Netherlands, was Carraggi’s next opponent of the day, but despite achieving a close result in the first game, the Dutch player got to take the spot in the quarterfinals, 21-19 21-8. 

Nevertheless, there are a lot of positives for the Belgian player to take not only from this tournament, but also from the summer, as he got to represent his country in this year’s World Championships. “It was crazy. It was my first time in Japan. To see world-class players and play against them, it’s a great experience”, Carraggi added.

“I hope that this is my year”
The women’s singles top seed is no other than home favourite Lianne Tan. The Belgian player, who has just come from a busy summer period in Asia, has made her comeback on European soil in her country. Her first match was against Centre of Excellence’s Martina Repiska, Slovakia. 

Tan won her first match in Leuven 21-12 21-13. “I have played this tournament a few times, when the Belgian International took place in another city. I have never performed that well on home soil, I don’t know why, but I hope that this year is my year. I hope that I can change that”, said the Belgian player after her first win.

“I think that every game here is tough and playing twice a day is not something that I’m really used to, but I hope that I can perform well and that, hopefully, I can be back here tomorrow”, concluded Tan. In fact, she succeeded in what she said before her match against Canadian player Talia Ng. After losing the first game, Tan gave quite the performance in an arduous fight to move on to the quarterfinals. The Belgian player won 14-21, 21-19, 21-20, and will be playing tomorrow in the quarterfinals against Vietnam’s Thuy Linh Nguyen.

Mission: keeping up the energy
One of the many interesting matches that the YONEX Belgian International has offered us today was that between two of France’s top young talents: Alex Lanier and Christo Popov. The two French players had to battle for the spot in the quarterfinals.

“It was a match of France against France so it is not the usual experience. You’re playing your teammate, even if we don’t train together”, said Popov. He won the match 21-18 21-15. “I think that as a favourite and top seeded, despite feeling a bit the pressure, I managed to keep it to straight games”.

The long day today has meant that matches have stretched well into 12AM. There are many of the players who have had to fight three games, and those who have won will have to compete in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning and if successful, the semifinals later the same day. “That’s the most important thing, to win the two matches from today in two games, to keep up the energy for the next days. I am here to win, so I want the fewer minutes on court as possible”, concluded Popov.

To see the results from today’s matches, click here.

The YONEX Belgian International 2022 quarterfinals will be starting tomorrow, Friday 16 September, at 10:00AM (CEST). All matches will be streamed live on www.badmintoneurope.tv. The semifinals will take place from 06:30PM (CEST).
©badmintoneurope.com. All rights reserved.

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