Bartlomiej Mroz, European Champion in SU5 men's singles (credit Badminton Europe / Mark Phelan)
Mroz draws world number 2 in the last 16
Date: 4/4/2019 10:02 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Bartlomiej Mroz, the European Champion took a tough beat in the groups and exits Group C in second place to earn himself a tougher draw in the knock out stages.

Poland’s Bartlomiej Mroz leads Europe’s charge to SU5 men’s singles success in Dubai this week, but got off to a rough start on Tuesday with a loss in his opening game to He Zhirui.  

Round 16 was as far as Mroz was able to go last week in the first para-badminton international event of 2019 in Turkey, and the first of a series of Paralympic qualifiers building towards Tokyo 2020. He aimed to go much further this week but his progress has been upset somewhat by He Zhirui the young Chinese.

READ: Three Europeans left in Malaysia

The first game against He Zhirui was crucial on Tuesday. Mroz was ahead 3 times before letting the set slip 24-22 and the occasion proved too much for the Pol, under pressure from a lot of Chinese support and without a coach. It felt that he was fighting an army on his own. The second went by quickly at 21-10 and meant that Mroz needed two wins to get out of the group.

Yesterday’s match against India’s Madapura went to plan and Mroz sealed victory at 21-11, 21-9. He went on to face Dutchman Mark Modderman today and you could sense that he had a point to prove, dispatching Modderman 21-7, 21-9.

Safely through and facing a tough draw, we waited eagerly to find out who he would see in the last 16. Suryo Nugroho, the Indonesia world silver medallist will now be up against Europe’s top SU5. We caught up with Mroz about his feelings this week:

“I have been feeling very comfortable on court, but the match against the Chinese was tough. He forced a lot of mistakes out of me but I came back strongly against the other two in my group. That gave me a better feeling for the court and the conditions and I’m in good shape again.”

“I didn’t know until now who my next opponent would be, but it doesn’t matter to me. I know it will be tough because I have gone through in second place, but I know I will prepare in the same way for any match. I beat Suryo last year.. I’ll have to do it again now. Let’s go Europe!”

The 2nd Fazza - Dubai Para-Badminton International continues this week. Look out for updates to follow and results each day on tournament software here with this link.

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