Circuit

Merrilees puts injury nightmare to rest
Date: 5/3/2013 1:53 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
Every professional athlete lives in fear of a serious injury and in the sport of badminton injury is something that most players come face to face with at some point in their career. To go through a full badminton career without injury is like dodging a bullet and to come back from a career threatening injury is as much a mental battle as it is physical.

Kieran Merrilees is one of those athletes who has endured a torrid year with a career threatening knee injury but today’s double victories over Kasper Dinesen and Joachim Persson laid to rest the injury nightmare that, in recent months, had the Scot contemplating his career as he fought to defeat his injury daemons.

“Today has been an amazing day for me. For the first time in months I played without any pain and to make it to the quarters here in Denmark has reignited my love for the game”

Merrilees clearly appeared to be enjoying his badminton today and his confidence grew with each point in a tight second round encounter with former world top 10 player Persson.

“Injury has a big effect on your mind but also it serves to teach you what is really important about sport. I was determined to enjoy my badminton again and today I really enjoyed myself which helped me play so much more free and relaxed”

Speaking about his chances in the tournament Merrilees was unsurprisingly candid about his chances as he focused more on the status of his rehabilitation.

“There is a long way to go in this tournament and just to get to tomorrow is a huge step for me. One thing is for sure I have found my love for the game again and with the pain gone I can fight hard in tomorrow’s quarter final”
Axelsen back to his best

Top seed Viktor Axelsen proved that bad form is only a temporary thing today in Fredrikshavn as he firmly banished his mid-season slump to the history books with a pair of displays that befitted his status as top seed at this year’s event.

A week’s holiday and a win at the recent Dutch International was exactly what the doctor ordered for Axelsen who looks as fast and as sharp as he has done this year to date.

His 21-11 21-8 victory over stable mate Flemming Quach is a clear indication of Axelsen’s form and sets him out as the man to beat in Fredrickshavn this week.

Speaking after his second round win Axelsen was justifiably happy with his performance as he builds towards the world championships in the summer. “Yes I am very satisfied with my game today, the score line clearly shows that I am playing well as Flemming is a much better player than today’s score suggests”

Gavnholt hits self-destruct button

Top seed Kristina Gavnholt fell at the very first hurdle in the women’s singles with a suicidal like performance so uncharacteristic of her normal high level of play. The Czech number one mistimed countless number of shots and was left clearly frustrated by her form as she fell at the hands or rank outsider Iben Bergstein in round 1.

There were no such problems for all the other major players in the women’s singles draw with Olga Konon and Line Kjærsfeldt looking to be in complete control of their games as we head into the business end of the tournament.
“I am feeling very good here this week” said Kjaersfeldt after her 21-10 21-9 victory of Anna Thea Madsen” I felt very much in control today and I really enjoyed my games after a pretty up and down season.

The live action continues at 10am (local time) tomorrow and can be viewed LIVE and in HD on Badminton Europe’s Youtube channel by clicking HERE
For all today’s results click HERE
To follow Badminton Europe on Facebook and view the full photo gallery from today’s play click HERE
Follow Badminton Europe on twitter for updates and news by clicking HERE

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Frederikshavn)
©badmintoneurope.com. All rights reserved.

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