Martin Rooke wins the European WH2 mens singles title in Nov 2018 (Badminton Europe / Mark Phelan)
Rooke through to semi-finals
Date: 4/5/2019 8:24 AM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Martin Rooke makes it to semi-final stages of the 2nd Fazza - Dubai Para-Badminton International WH2 men’s singles.

Team GB’s Martin Rooke has never been in better shape. Or so says the 46 year old Englishman, and this can be seen in his play so far this week. Focussed. Purposeful. Determined. 3 words that describe perfectly the Arsenal-mad man from Hertfordshire.

He struggled with injury and illness at times over the past 2 years, but with the help of UK Sport funding and a full-time Team GB programme, Rooke is back to his best, climbing the rankings and making good his men’s singles seeded position.

READ: Corrales comes back

Straight sets wins over Ilya Pargeev (RUS) and Daiki Kajiwara (JPN) in his groups saw Rooke take on Switzerland’s Marc Elmer in this morning’s WH2 men’s singles last 16 match. A confident 21-7, 21-7 win meant the Englishman went on to face Junthong Dumnern from Thailand in this afternoon’s quarter-final match, where Rooke aimed to do one better than last week’s Turkish International quarter-final exit.

After dropping the first set on the slow end, Rooke appeared to be in charge of the second until a few scrappy points near the end of the game didn’t go his way. English support were hands-on-heads at 20-21 when Rooke’s fate rest upon a line judged who saw that the Thai’s punch-clear went out and Rooke held his nerve to see out the game 23-21.

The third game was the best badminton Rooke has played for some time, a much more comfortable 21-12 sees him move onto face arguably the best WH2 player in the world, Hong Kong’s (Daniel) Chan Ho Yuen in tomorrow’s semi’s. Rooke had this to say:

“It wasn’t my best game, I was quite slow starting. He kept hurting me with that excellent drop of his, but I knew if I could stop him from beating me there I could win the match. I’m a better player nowadays, I don’t get rattled too easily and I can keep going. It was a good win and now onto the big boys!”

“The major difference for me of late is being injury free. And being able to train full time, what with the team we have (Team GB), it’s everything. With that team behind me which I am so lucky to have, I feel so lucky to be a part of it. In fact it’s my favourite thing out of all of this, the day-to-day training. I love it. All the hard work we as a team put in is slowly paying off, and it isn’t just rewarding for me, the whole team feel proud of what we’re achieving together.

Dalglish misses out in group of death

England’s number 3 Isaak Dalglish missed out on the knock-out stages by the finest of margins today in Dubai. Vitor Taveres (BRA), the seed, Raja Magotra (IND), Luo Guangliang (CHN) and Dalglish at one stage were all tied after 2 matches and all playing at the same time in their last SS6 men’s singles group match. At that point 3 of them could still win the group and all 4 of them could have made it through.

When Magotra beat Taveres in straight games, the Brazilian finished bottom with a games-won deficit of 2-5. A Dalglish 2-0 win over the Guangliang would see him top the group and the Chinese go through in second. A 2-1 win for Dalglish would see Guangliang win the group and Magotra would be fighting Dalglish on games and points to see who join him in the knockouts. 

The situation was very tense and at 20-20 in the third game; Dalglish did not realise the importance of the situation. The match went to the Chinese and sadly Dalglish went out for a Chinese.. 

..meal that is. Beef Chow Mein. A few carbohydrates in preparation for tomorrow’s Indian. 2 in fact! Isaak Dalglish and partner Fabien Morat (FRA) are preparing to take on Nagar Krishna and Raja Magotra in the SS6 men’s doubles semi-final. Dalglish was reflective after the loss:

“I’m very disappointed, especially when I gave everything I had today. I was fighting hard, even when I was down. But I’ll look back in a few days’ time and realise that all the hard work lately is starting to turn things around for me. I’m still young and sooner or later these narrow defeats that keep happening will turn into valuable wins. I’ll go home, train hard and be back for the Irish in June!”

Still in the hunt for SS6 men’s singles gold are Team GB’s Jack Shephard and Krysten Coombs, whilst teammate Daniel Bethell came through a terrific 3 sets with old foe Manoj Sarkar (IND) to set up a quarter final against Thailand’s Mongkhon Bunsun tomorrow at 9am. 

Plenty of Europeans left in quarter and semi finals draws tomorrow at the 2nd Fazza - Dubai Para-Badminton International. Look out for updates to follow and results each day on tournament software here with this link.

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