Meril Loquette at the European Championships (credit Badminton Photo)
European showdown for quarterfinal draw
Date: 2/14/2020 9:12 AM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Two of Europe’s hottest SU5 players battled it out today in Sao Paulo with a quarterfinal draw against the world number one at stake.

Sparks were flying once again as two European Para badminton rivals took to the court in Brazil this afternoon. Turkey’s world number seven Ilker Tuzcu was up against Frenchman Meril Loquette, the world number six.

This was the fifth time in two years that these two have met in international competition, with a win each in 2019, the head to head stood at Tuzcu three, Loquette one.

The unseeded Turk bested Chirag Baretha (IND) 21-19 in the third game of a thrilling group D match yesterday, the final match in the group with much at stake. The winner would join Malaysia’s group-winner Cheah Liek Hou in the knockout stages.

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Loquette was also doing things the hard way this week, losing his fifth seed status after defeat to Chinese Taipei’s Fang Jen-Yu in group F, he went through in second place to meet Tuzcu in the last sixteen.

With three out of the four recent meetings going the distance, it was hard to pick a winner until the first game came to a close at 21-17 to Tuzcu. The tension climaxed at 20-20 in the second game with the Turk having just enough resolve to see the match to a finish in the next two points.

The consequences of the result are huge. Both men are on the brink of Paralympic qualification, neither of them assured of a place. 

Loquette lays sixth in the Road to Tokyo list (fifth, assuming one Indonesian at position one or three can be accepted), and Tuzcu will hope that a singles and mixed doubles ranking inside the top ten will be enough to see him qualify.

With all eyes on Tokyo 2020, games like this are crucial for these men at this stage in the season.

Look out for updates from the Brazil Para badminton International 2020, see tournament software here for draws and results. 

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