The women were out in full force at the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum 3rd Dubai Para Badminton International 2021, as top seeds in several categories took to the courts in first round matches on Day 1.
It was an all-India start for the women’s Standing Lower (SL3) singles as Manasi Girishchandra Joshi and Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar both advanced to the second round of the group matches.
“It’s only two groups but it will be hard. Parul and I have not been able to play or train together even though we live only 20km apart in Gujerat. We’re meeting here for the first time after so many months,” said Joshi, who beat Mandeep Kaur (India) 21-17 21-10.
Parmar faced a bit of a challenge against Charanjeet Kaur (India) before winning 21-13 19-21 23-21.
“It feels fabulous to compete. My body is slowly getting back to competition mode. I do think I’ll start to feel better with each match,” said Parmar.
Switzerland’s Cynthia Mathez and Karin Suter-Erath overcame Egypt’s Shaimaa Samy Ab D Ellatif and Russia’s Tatiana Gureeva in the first of their round-robin women’s doubles Wheelchair (WH1-WH2) matches.
“We’ve been able to practice together (in Switzerland) although with limited possibilities. Here, it wasn’t so easy to get going because it’s the first day, and first time back after so long. Also, there’s limited space for warm-up and practice time but I’m sure things will improve.
“The tournament itself is one of my favourites and this time all the shades of blue and the logo look beautiful. It’s well organised,” said Suter-Erath.
Mathez’s two matches earlier in the day served as her warm-up for the third. Her WH1-WH2 mixed doubles partnership with Marc Elmer (Switzerland) resulted in a win against Abu Hubaida (India) and Henriette Koosz (Austria) 21-16 21-16.
She then took to the court again for the WH1 women’s singles to defeat second seed To Man Kei (Belgium), 21-19 21-12.
“I don’t usually say this but I’m feeling very proud of myself. I’ve had some good matches and we’re hoping to also play in the Spain tournament for more ranking points,” said Mathez.
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