Woods doubles up
Rachael Woods, fresh from her experience at the European U17 Championships in Prague, was the big winner on qualification day at the 2017 Forza Irish Open in Dublin. Woods came through her mixed doubles qualification alongside partner Adam McAllister before sealing the doubles with two wins in her women’s singles.
After an easy mixed doubles qualification Woods was pushed all the way to a deciding set in both her singles qualification matches. Grace Taylor from England was first to fall with Woods coming through 21-19 in the decider.
Another English woman, Evie Burbidge took the opening set from Woods in the final qualification round. Woods stayed strong to take the second set 21-19 and displayed composure beyond her junior years to see the match through with a 21-18 win in the deciding set.
“I am absolutely thrilled how I played today. It is a great experience to play against older players and to get into the main draw today in mixed and women’s singles is the best I could have hoped for. I am also in the main draw in women’s doubles so a busy day tomorrow.”
Sara Penalver showed signs of the undoubted talent she posses beating one of the Denmark’s rising stars Freja Ravn to book her main draw spot. There was also a welcome return to the courts for Anna Thea Madsen. Lucky to get into the tournament after being promoted from the reserves the classy Dane wasted little time in booking her main draw spot with two easy qualification wins.
CoE players learn from experience
A handful of Centre of Excellence players have made the trip to Dublin this week with Finland’s Jessica Jantti (pictured above) and Niks Podosinoviks of Latvia in action on qualification day. It proved to be a tough day for both with Podosinoviks going out in round one in two close sets with Jantti suffering the same fate in her opening women’s singles match.
The Finn however was upbeat about her performance given it was her first foray on the senior circuit since joining the Centre of Excellence.
“I had a clear plan about my game with my coach before I stepped on court. The first set I executed the plan fine then I lost it a little in the second set. All in all I learned a lot so time to look forward and focus." commented Jantti to Badminton Europe
For all results from qualification day in Dublin click HERE
For a photo gallery from day 1 at the Forza Irish Open click HERE