Meril Loquette at the European Championships 2018 (credit Badminton Europe / Mark Phelan)
Loquette clinches victory from the jaws of defeat
Date: 9/25/2019 1:43 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin

Meril Loquette is the European hero today in China. On the verge of defeat to China’s He Zhirui, he came back from the depths to take the win and is likely to take top spot in the group.

The Frenchman’s fabulous season continues as he rises to the occasion once again and overcomes a serious test in the group stages of the SU5 men’s singles.

Whilst two players go through the initial group stages at Para badminton international events and into a last 16 format, progressing the group in second place is no more than a lifeline these days. 

The chances of going far in a tournament are very slim once a player goes through in second position, as they meet a top seed in the next round. It was crucial today, with so much at stake, that Meril Loquette would win this group and have a chance at medals in China.

Read: Can Axelsen bounce back in Korea

‘I had nothing to lose’

The world number one is not in the draw this week and there is little to choose between the next six best players in the world. Pushing hard earlier this year in Dubai and Turkey was He Zhirui (CHN) who has beaten the likes of Bartlomiej Mroz, the Polish world number three, and Tay Wei Ming, Singapore’s world number seven this season.

Today the Chinese had match-point against Loquette the world number six at 21-8, 20-22, 20-14, but unbelievably the Frenchman came back to take the next eight points and the match to give himself a great chance of topping the group. We caught up with Loquette after the match who had this to say:

- I didn’t feel good today. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep or a second week away from home in Asia that has disrupted my body, I’m not sure. I started so badly in the first game, I was so slow and my game was bad.

- My coach helped me in the second game, I took control of the net and stayed on the attack. The third game started poorly, but at 20-14 down I had nothing to lose and felt that my legs were strong, so I just focussed on the job of playing the shuttle the way I am supposed to and didn’t miss. Coming back to win 22-20 was just amazing!

Follow the China Para-Badminton International 2019 on tournament software here

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