They say victory is sweet, but for West London’s Rajiv Ouseph it means a meeting with two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan in the third round of the TOTAL BWF World Championships.
Ouseph faltered early in his second round tie with Sameer Verma, but eventually beat the Indian shuttler 22-20 21-9 to set up a date with five-time world champion Lin.
The 30-year-old shuttler was the first to admit he had a slow start in the match against Verma, but was glad to have kept his medal hopes alive in Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
“It was a very tight first set, but I knew it was going to be quite a tough first match,” said Ouseph.
“I was probably a bit too cautious in the first set, but once I got that under my belt I relaxed into the game a bit more and did better in the second.
“I was just concentrating on getting the best start I could in the first set, if you lose the first and get a bad start in the second your head drops a bit.
“I was trying to put as much pressure on him as I could and it managed to work out.”
The championships have been unpredictable so far to say the least, with second seed Lee Chong Wei knocked out in the first round, but it was a shock that has given Hounslow-born Ouseph the confidence to to down another champion.
“Lin Dan is the greatest player that ever played the game, so it’s a very exciting challenge to play him,” he added.
“It doesn’t get much better than that, so I’ll go out there and try and enjoy myself and see what happens.
“I hope another upset is on the cards, if I could take that win tomorrow it would be the biggest win of my career.”
The TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 is being staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August. It is being delivered by BADMINTONscotland in partnership with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and The National Lottery through UK Sport. Tickets available at www.glasgow2017.com/tickets
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