(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Spain could not find their rhythm
Date: 10/12/2021 1:44 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
Spain fail to secure a win against the 2018 Uber Cup runner-up in a tough 5-0 loss against Thailand, but will step on court with confidence for their clash against Scotland tomorrow.

It was a close call for Spain when they faced their first clash at the Uber Cup against India just two days ago. They were close to securing a win and a successful start to the event, but the Spaniards sadly could not make it and had to settle for a loss to their opponents, 3-2. 

Next up for the Spanish team was the runner-up of the 2018 Uber Cup, Thailand. After a frustrating loss that could have well got the team a needed win, with a great performance from Clara Azurmendi who got Spain their only two wins of the day, it remained to be seen if they could stand up to such tough opponents as today’s.

Azurmendi was leading two points when former world number one Saina Nehwal retired from the match, which would be Spain’s first victory of the day. After a good kick-off to the encounter between teams that could give the team a push, the players could not deliver, and only the duo of Azurmendi/ Corrales would earn a second win to close the day.

If you fail, try again
After delivering for her team two days ago, Azurmendi was ready for yet another challenge as she was in charge today of opening up the clash between Thailand and Spain, and this time it would be her only appearance on court, as she would not play women’s doubles.

The 23-year-old player faced Pornpawee Chochuwong, a player of the same age who is currently ranked 10 in the world. The Spaniard could not find the right pace in the first game and got to recover a bit in the second one, but it was still not enough as the Thai player controlled the whole match.

- She plays at a different rhythm than me, so I tried to put pressure on her, but the shuttle came back with even more pressure for me. 

- It was difficult to start the match, but in the second game I could play a little bit more so I could get a bit closer in the score. Still, I know there is a difference between us, so I tried to do my best. It was not enough today, so I will try another day, Azurmendi explained.

Never settle
Just like Azurmendi, Lucia Rodriguez could not hit back at Busanan Ongbamrungphan and match her speed. Halfway through the second game, Rodriguez seemed to find her rhythm securing five points in a row, but the Thai opponent recovered just in time to close the match with a win in straight games, 21-10 21-13. 

Rodriguez was followed by Ania Setien, who also lost against Phittayaporn Chaiwan, and the women’s doubles pairs would face the same fate. Despite the difficult day for Spain, Azurmendi finds the opportunity to learn from the challenge of playing against such talented players.

- I know I need to improve in my physical game, because I have to run, run, run. I need to train that, and not settle for one good shot, Azurmendi said.

Already focusing on the challenges ahead
Spain sits now at the bottom of Group B and will be playing against Scotland, who have also just lost against their opponents, India, today. There is no doubt that the Scottish team’s biggest star is Kirsty Gilmour and Azurmendi, as Spain’s counterpart as their best singles player, is up for the challenge.

- Now I need to focus on tomorrow. It will also be a difficult match and I need to prepare well, with confidence to try and do my best. 

Thailand vs. Spain 5-0

WS1: Pornpawee Chochuwong - Clara Azurmendi 21-9 21-15
WS2: Busanan Ongbamrungphan - Lucia Rodriguez 21-10 21-13
WS3: Phittayaporn Chaiwan - Ania Setien 21-8 21-11

WD1: Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai - Nerea Ivorra/ Claudia Leal 21-7 21-4

WD2: Jongkolphan Kititharakul/ Rawinda Prajongjai - Lucia Rodriguez/ Ania Setien 21-7 21-9
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