24 Oct 2010 - Dutch Open 2010

Hey, I had a good week this week here in Holland. I have not played this tournament for a few years but the last time I played I lost in the 3rd round to Eric Pang in 3 sets. I remembered the hall quite well and remembered that I liked to play there. That gave me a bit of confidence once I entered the hall on Tuesday evening to have a hit before playing my first match Wednesday mid-day.

 

First up was Saber Afif from Holland. I have not played him before but he is the same age as me so at all the junior international tournaments he was always at them. I new his level so I new I had to be as ready as ever. I started out pretty well.. trying to get a good feeling on court.. moving the shuttle around and trying to find my length. I found it and took the 1st set 21 11. I felt more and more confident as the match went on and in the 2nd set I picked up the speed and attacked more than in the 1st. I used all my strokes from the back of the court much better in the 2nd than in the 1st and that helped a lot.. I took the 2nd set 21 8 and that put me into the 2nd round were I would meet Pavel Florian from Czech.

 

The last time I played him was in Czech open a few years ago where I won 22 20 in the 3rd. I was a little bit more nervous about this match as I new Pavel was a hard guy to play against as he has quite a different style of play. I was also the last match of the day and after a long day of matches like Wednesday.. there is always going to be a delay. I was due to go on court at 1030 at night but only went on court at 11. I was quite surprised that there was only 30minutes delay. I started off very well.. getting a 14 2 lead. He then found a bit of a rhythm and came back to 15 9. I managed to close out the set 21 10. The shuttles were extremely slow in this match compared to the first match so I found it even more easy to move Pavel around the court and I was confident from the front court to push him around as much as I liked. This helped in the 2nd set as I lifted the speed and moved all over the court. I was leading 11 3 at the break... I found my game and went 20 4 up.. closing the match and putting myself into the 3rd round by winning the 2nd 21 5.

 

Next up was Marcel Reuter from Germany. I have played Marcel quite a few times in the last couple of years. We made a bit of a joke before the match that we always seem to be playing eachother in 2nd or 3rd round and then he said.. ye and I never win J I get on with him quite well.. he is a very nice guy. I started out well.. having a lead of 14 3... feeling good and confident. All of a sudden he has come back and im only leading by 2.. it was then 1 point to me 1 point to him all the way to 17 17.. I then managed to reach 20 and close of the 1st set 21 19. The 2nd set started out quite the same.. and I was leading 11 10 at the break. After the break I got a good rhythm and went 20 10 up.. and finished the game 21 11 and that put me into the quarter final against Anand Pawar from India.

 

I new this match would be hard as Anand is a fighter and he has a very attacking game. I started off extremely well and was leading 19 12 in the 1st... he then found his rhythm and fought back and won the 1st 22 20. I tried everything I could to break his rhythm during that period.. I tried to play long rallies and wait for my chance.. I didn't get 1. I tried attacking and playing fast.. it didn't work.. I tried changing the shuttle and getting my side of the court cleaned.. nothing seemed to work to break him from this run.. I started off bad in the 2nd set.. I was down 6 1 but kept fighting and turned it around. At the break I was leading 11 8.. from then on I just played simple and moved him around and he made mistake after mistake and I closed the set 21 14. The 3rd set was just a battle.. there was never more than a 3 point difference between us but he only seemed to have the lead.. I kept fighting and we played some insane rallies but he managed to win the 3rd 21 18. After 1 hour and 1 minute my time at dutch open 2010 was over.

 

I am happy with how I played here and seems like my game is coming together more and more after each match I play. It was a great match to be apart of and even tho I didn't win I am still happy with how I played.

 

I came back to Copenhagen Saturday morning and was training a little bit in the afternoon and I will training again today Sunday. Tomorrow I will train in the morning and then drive to Odense for Danish Open. We have practise courts tomorrow evening at 1900 in the main hall. I will play on Wednesday in the 1st round of the main draw in Danish Super Series and I will meet another Indian called Kashyap P and he is ranked 36 in the world. He just won a bronze medal at the recent Commonwealth Games so it will be a tough match but I will fight like always and give it my best.

 

Thanks for reading