Fist pump from Antonsen after beating Fabian Roth in round 1.
Antonsen wins battle of young guns
Date: 8/21/2017 11:49 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
The 2017 World Championships kicked off this morning in Glasgow with a host of Europeans setting out to create some upsets as well as some looking towards these championships to stamp their mark on world badminton. Anders Antonsen is certainly one of those looking to make his mark at the top echelons of the sport and his match today against another rising star, Fabian Roth was a must win for the Dane while all the time being a potential first round banana skin for Antonsen. 

After the draw was made at the beginning of August the game between Antonsen and Roth was certainly the blue riband first round tie from an European perspective. Both have been rising steadily up the rankings this past year and both have the desire to push towards the world’s top 10.

While it was billed as a top match the game itself was fraught with nerves as both struggled to come to terms with the hall and the pressure associated the biggest tournament of the year. Antonsen had learned to win dirty last year en route to his Scottish Open success in this very arena and today the Dane came through is a scrappy game conserving as much energy s possible in two games. 

“This was not pretty today. I think both of us suffered with nerves and Fabian a bit more than I throughout the match” said the Dane after the win. 

“Sometimes these first rounds can be less than pretty and this was not the best badminton from either of us today. But I am happy to get over the hurdle and move onto the second round where I will have to be better to win” 

It proved to be a very successful days’ work for Denmark’s singles players with Holst, Kjaersfeldt and Blichfeldt all progressing alongside Antonsen. 

Watch Anders Antonsen’s post match interview HERE

Elsewhere there were impressive wins for European Champion Rajiv Ouseph while Luise Heim of Germany continues to impress as she beat England’s Fontaine Chapman to book her second round women’s singles berth. 

There was no joy for Scotland’s own Kieran Merrilees who lost out to probably the greatest of all time when going down in two sets to Lin Dan of China. 

Watch Kieran Merrilees post match interview HERE

French prevail in three set classic

In one of the very early matches of the day European mixed doubles bronze medal pairing Ronan Labar and Audrey Fontaine (pictured above) came through an epic encounter to beat their Indonesian opponents Fadhilah and Anggraini 27-25 in the deciding set. 

After sharing the opening sets a strange red card was handed to the French for appearing to ignore the umpire during an enforced break. After about 5 minutes sorting out the confusion where thankfully sense prevailed the French found themselves in a third set dog fight against the Indonesians. 

Towards the end of the set Labar squandered a pair of easy chances, where he failed to find the court with routine kills, before eventually steering the French ship to port. 

“We had that crazy card incident which took about 5 minutes to sort out then I missed those easy chances and I just challenged each of them even though I knew they were out just to give myself the time to recover. In the end Audrey did great work for us and she got us over the line and into round two.” 

Fellow European bronze medallists Sam & Chloe Magee from Ireland made easier work of their opening match brushing aside their American opponents while Swedes Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom ended the hopes of home pair Martin Campbell and Julie Macphearson. 

Watch Labar and Fontaine’s post match interview HERE

Elsewhere Estonia’s Kristin Kuuba and Helina Ruutel got their women’s doubles campaign off to a great start beating German duo Goliszewski and Kaepplein to set up another all European match against 16th seeds Chervyakova and Morozova of Russia. 

For all results from day 1 at the world championships in Glasgow click HERE

For a photo gallery from today’s play click HERE

Article and images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe

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