Having spent the last year upgrading his skills with an Indonesian coach, French SU5 player Meril Loquette believes he played the best match of his career as he made the quarterfinals of Spanish Para Badminton International 2023.
“That was an important match,” said Loquette after securing his first win in three meetings over Singapore’s Wei Ming Tay, 21-16 21-8.
“I knew he had some injuries a few years ago, it’s nice to see him back. He’s a good player but things just worked for me better. I hadn’t felt great coming into the competition, but today I felt different. It was cold in the hall, but the shuttles felt fast.
“SU5 is a tough category. Everyone is trying harder and harder against each other. I’ve been working with an Indonesian coach and that has had a huge impact on me. It’s all about adopting the ‘Asian style’.”
So what’s that then, Meril?
“Be chilled, more smiley, and don’t let yourself get under pressure.”
Loquette’s victory will see him face Gui Yu Pu after the Chinese Taipei player overcame a tough test from David Jack Wilson. The Peru Para Badminton International 2022 winner knows there is still work to do.
“Gui is extremely good and has youth and speed on his side. I will need to stay calm and positive. I have to focus on the objective.”
In SL4 men’s singles, Mexico’s Maximiliano Avila Sosa overcame an impressive Mathis Clement 21-18 21-18 to advance to the round of 16. The shuttler, quick on his feet and aggressive at the net, was remarkable in a demanding match.
“I was just trying to get the shuttles past him and play him at the net while he was at the baseline,” said the Pan Am Para Badminton Championships 2022 runner-up.
The 18-year-old remarked how much he still had to learn from his peers.
“We are from different countries and continents, so our styles aren’t the same. I know I’m young and there’s still a lot to learn.”
Avila Sosa switched from Para athletics in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since.
“I’m in love with badminton. I will always try to play even if I have a knee injury or a back problem. It’s important to highlight this wonderful sport to everyone.”
Avila Sosa will play Tarun Tarun next in their first encounter in men’s singles.