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Mariya Mitsova: I know how important it is to have the chance
Date: 3/24/2021 7:30 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Round one at the Orléans Masters saw some terrific action and left many players delighted with a return to what they do best - playing badminton! 

For Mariya Mitsova, the feeling today was particularly sweet, after her disappointment of having to withdraw from the Swiss Open 2021. Watch our Zoom interview as it happened. 

The Bulgarian singles player is in a terrific battle with her compatriot, Linda Zetchiri, for an Olympic qualification spot.  Mitsova played in the All England Open and today at the Orléans Masters she faced Hungary’s Laura Sarosi, the very player who got her place at the Swiss Open and who sent her best wishes after the tough situation. 

-To be honest, it feels very good to be back on court being able to implement everything I have learned in practice during the last year as this is my second tournament in one whole year. 

Mitsova came into the match against Sarosi with a clean 3-0 head-to-head and was able to deliver, winning in straight games, 21-17, 21-10. 

-I was happy that Laura was the one who got in the draw [at Swiss Open 2021] actually as I know she is also fighting for Olympics as I am, and I know how important it is to have the chance to enter bigger tournaments and perform there and get a few more points towards the Tokyo rankings.

Pressure
Throughout this period, which she admits has been the toughest of her career, Mitsova has remained focused and motivated. Although today she did feel a bit tense at the beginning. 

-Honestly, I am very pleased with my performance today. I felt excitement which came along with pressure, but I managed to focus on the game plan and execute it exactly as planned - that’s the utmost value I take from my match. So, I am happy to be the winner and to have the chance to play again here tomorrow. 

Mitsova will now play India’s Ira Sharma, whom she defeated at the Bulgarian Open Championship 2019.

Watch Orléans Masters NOW via Badminton Live.

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