Slovak Open: Matej Hlinican is coming home!
Slovak Open will be starting today with the qualification rounds in Trencin. For Centre of Excellence-player Matej Hlinican, this is a home match. For other CoE-player Sander de Decker, it is a beginning of a new journey.
Matej Hlinican is raised in Trencin. Even more remarkable: the hall where the Slovak Open is held, is where he first started to play badminton!
‘Many people usually come to support me, which gives me extra motivation’ Hlinican mentioned to Badminton Europe.
If that is not already great enough, Hlinican is also second seeded in men’s singles, which makes him a favourite in his hometown. Nevertheless, Hlinican stays cautious about his matches.
‘The tournament is very very strong this year. There won’t be any easy match so have to be focused from the very first match’ Hlinican stated.
Hlinican will step by step focus on the matches.
‘I would like to get a medal from this tournament. But as I said: every match will be though’.
Read: EC qualifier: I am very proud
Step by step, match by match, point by point.
Sander de Decker (Belgium, pictured above. Photo by Mark Phelan) has not much experience in the international tournament circuit. Therefore he tries not to have too many expectations for this tournament.
‘I am keeping both feet on the ground and try to take everything in match by match’ De Decker stated to Badminton Europe.
The Centre of Excellence has helped De Decker in gaining more experience and preparation for tournaments. Apart from training, his fellow buddies are also helping him by sharing their experiences with De Decker.
‘I talk with more experienced players about how they prepare and communicating with the coaches helps me to also be prepared.’ De Decker mentioned.
For the coming year he tries to gain more experience by playing more tournaments.
‘My ultimate goal for the end of the season would be to be directly in main draw for tournament by winning qualification matches. But even to get into finals: It needs to be step by step, match by match, point by point’
Find all the matches and livescore in Trencin here