Bartlomiej Mroz suffered his worst defeat ever today in Bangkok (photo credit : Darisabam_)
Mroz: “I’ll use this defeat to build a stronger future”
Date: 7/27/2018 7:11 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Heartbreak for Bartlomiej Mroz today in the all European SU5 men’s singles last 16, as Ilker Tuzcu cruises into the quarter finals.

One of the biggest European rivalries in Para-Badminton comes from two of the lesser established European countries. 

Poland’s Bartlomiej Mroz is the world number 3, and probably leads the world in number of tournaments entered, the number of buckets sweated, miles travelled, calories counted and burnt and smashes hit to maintain that status. 

Turkey’s Ilker Tuzcu is the polar opposite. Mroz’s kryptonite. Arguably the most relaxed player in the hall, he is cool under pressure, full of composure and court-craft. He enjoys defending and countering, making full use of his rangy physique. He wants you to hit the shuttle at him, and the harder the better. 

The pair have played each more than 10 times in the past 4 years, and yet it is the Turkish number 6 that took all 3 of the European titles and now leads the head-to-head 9-2. 

Today’s match was different to most in that it was Tuzcu that took the opening game. Mroz came out all-guns-blazing as always, but the Turk was able to soak up the pressure and keep with Mroz right to the last point which ended 23-21. No change of plan from the Pol made things easy for him in the second game, Mroz almost embarrassed at the final score 21-9. We caught up with Mroz after the match

“It’s always so difficult playing against Tuzcu. His game style make things very hard for me, he seems to be very effective against me. I tried my best as always, tried to the very last point, but today wasn’t my day. 

He’s my biggest rival. When we think about the European titles he has taken, and a European bid for the Paralympics in 2 years, he’s the most important player for me to stay in front of, so today was a big defeat for me. But I will use this to learn and to build a better future”

Read : Lauren Smith : Excited to put in a performance to be proud of

Praise must be given to the way Ilker Tuzcu manages an opponent like Bart Mroz. Underneath that cool exterior, the occasional fist-pump and shout of excitement when he puts the shuttle on the floor, you can see the enjoyment he gets from the game. Tuzcu had this to say 

“I am very satisfied with the course of the game today, and so proud to have won the way I did. My biggest dream to get to the Paralympics, God willing, and I’m working hard for this”

Top European seeds elsewhere

Lucas Mazur is still in all 3 competitions, having not yet dropped a game in SL4 singles or SL3-SU5 mixed doubles with his teammate Faustine Noel. Krysten Coombs and Jack Shephard are both controlling the SS6 men’s singles and together in men’s doubles, again without dropping a game this week.

We wish them, and all other European competitors good luck tomorrow morning in the quarter finals.

For a full list of the Thailand Para-Badminton International draws and results this week click here

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