Credit: BadmintonPhoto
The strangest match of Yvonne Li's career
Date: 3/15/2023 3:03 AM
Published by : Thomas Fuchs (BEC)
The first day of the YONEX All England 2023 is in the books and saw many nice wins for European players. One of these winners was the German Yvonne Li, who played a match she will never forget.

"This was definitely the strangest match of my career", stated Yvonne Li after her first round matchup against Goh Jin Wei (Malaysia). 

The match didn't start well for Li. She didn't find a good rhythm throughout the first game and lost 12-21. "I had no chance in the first game, she was putting a lot of pressure on me. In the second game, I was able to catch up more and she started to get tired and then suddenly she was breathing very hard and I think there was something wrong with her body", said Li. 

Goh Jin Wei started taking longer breaks and delayed the game several times but still managed to keep the score even until the end of the game. "And then suddenly at 21-20 she got a red card for delay of game after getting a warning and a yellow card, so I won the second set by her getting a red card" described Li the weird situation.

In the beginning of the third game Li struggled with the conditions of the hall and made many easy mistakes that kept her opponent in the game even though she was obviously physically battered and kept on taking long breaks. "I was struggling with my own shots and my own game. Mentally it was just very hard", said Li.

The weird match ended when the German killed a shot at the net and accidentally hit her opponent in the eye at the score of 13-12. The Malaysian retired afterwards and Yvonne Li remained the winner, but due to the unusual course of the match she could not really be happy about her first All England victory.  

Viktor Axelsen aims for another All England title

The reigning champion came to defend his title in Birmingham. Viktor Axelsen is by far the most dominant player in the recent years and after only losing three matches in 2022 there can only be one goal for him this week: "I think All England is the most legendary tournament there is and to win it is something that I have been dreaming of for a long long time. To have done it twice is two dreams coming true. Hopefully I can do well here this year and I am going for the win, but I am really rational about everything and I know it is really tough to win here, so I will take one step at a time", stated Axelsen after his opening win against Lee Cheuk Yiu from Hong Kong.

More Europeans to advance to the Round of 16: Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen (DEN), Anne Tran/Margot Lambert (FRA), Chloe Birch/Lauren Smith (ENG), Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue (FRA), Anders Antonsen (DEN)

Wednesday's matches start at 10:00am local time and will be streamed on the BWF YouTube channel.  

Find all results from day one here
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