Scott Evans beat local hero Ygor Coelho de Oliveira in a Men’s Singles battle that was high on emotion, to book a place in the round of 16 today.
Ireland’s Evans was expected to win, considering his vast experience and the difference in rankings, but with the full-throated crowd rooting for Oliveira, the Brazilian played an inspired second game and ran up a big lead. A shaken Evans reeled him back in, nearly catching level, but Oliveira edged past him to take the match to a decider.
Evans refused to let the match slip away, and he reasserted control early in the third and didn’t let go. The 21-8 19-21 21-8 victory helped him top Group K ahead of Germany’s Marc Zwiebler and Oliveira.
“Today was one of the most difficult matches of my life I think. He’s a good player and the crowd has been absolutely crazy. It’s really a special moment for me to player here in front of the Brazilian people.
“I made a good comeback at the end of the second game. I started to get good momentum, play better rallies. I started to be more accurate with my shots and my movement was getting better all the time, so even though I lost the second game I was still quite confident that my game was getting better. I had a good start in the third and that helped me keep going.
Evans said he’d refused to let his victory over Zwiebler distract him from the task against Oliveira.
“I had over 200 emails when I got back yesterday (after beating Zwiebler). I turned my social media off, because I have made that mistake before in other tournaments where I have had good results and just sat on my phone for three hours trying to thank everyone. I really wanted to stay focussed and get the job done tonight so I have not been on social media and I have a feeling I might have another 200 or 300 emails.”
Brice Leverdez (France) and Pablo Abian (Spain) also won their Men’s Singles matches, over Estonia’s Raul Must and Brunei Darussalem’s Jaspar Yu respectively.
In Mixed Doubles, Thailand’s Bodin Isara/Savitree Amitrapai outplayed Australia’s Robin Middleton/Leanne Choo to finish third in Group C.
Men’s Doubles Group D saw India’s Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy upset Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa but the result had no bearing on eventual placings.
Russia’s Natalia Perminova and Mauritius’s Kate Foo Kune were among the Women’s Singles winners.
Great Britain’s Heather Olver/Lauren Smith prevailed in a long Women’s Doubles battle over Hong Kong’s Poon Lok Yan/Tse Ying Suet to finish third in Group C.