Nilsson at the Para-Badminton World Championships last month (credit Action Photography)
Nilsson struggles on day one
Date: 9/16/2019 1:14 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

World number seven Rickard Nilsson suffered an early defeat to set up a difficult week in Thailand. 

Swedish Rickard Nilsson appeared to have a fairly comfortable draw in the men’s singles group stages before the tournament began this morning. Indonesian and Indian unknowns were showing no signs of threat to Europe’s second SL4, his only concern would be Taipei’s Yeh En-Chuan, a player ranked thirteen places below him.

The Swede took control of the first game from the start, edging further ahead every minute to a solid 21-15 opener. A much more even second game gave Yeh hope, who held his nerve from 19-18 to clinch the game, and the match was really on.

Going 4-0 behind at the start of the final game made things very difficult for Nilsson, and as neither player gained any further momentum, there was no way for the European to gain back control and he fell to a 21-18 decider. He had this to say after the result:

-The first match against Taipei was good with many long rallies, it was a long match. After the first game I struggled because I couldn't seem to find the correct power to push him all the way in the back court so I came up short a lot and I think that’s where I lost a lot of points. Despite that, I felt like the match could have gone both ways. 

Nilsson went on to win his second group match and a victory tomorrow would see him through to the knock-out stages with a likely match up against one of the top seeds.

Read: Victory for Danish super talent

‘I’m still there, fighting for a spot!’

- My ambition for this tournament is as always to play my best badminton. I hope that brings me far this week. I'm not going to China next week because of lack of funding, but the next tournament for me is Denmark Open which is close by, Nilsson told us.

- I try not to think too much about the Paralympic qualification because that pulls my focus away from the actual tournament, but I guess I'm in an alright spot in the rankings and of course the ultimate goal is Tokyo 2020, he added.

- But anything can happen, there are a lot of great players at the moment so it will be tough, but I'm definitely there, fighting for a spot, said the Swede.

The day one Thailand Para-Badminton International 2019 draws and results can be found on tournament software here. 

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