Suffering a back injury was far from the ideal preparation, but Alex Lane admitted he was pleasantly surprised with his performance following his exit from the Scottish Open.
The 23-year-old badminton ace from Kingston upon Thames came through qualifying in Glasgow before being knocked out in the last 16 by Frenchman Lucas Corvee at the Emirates Arena.
Lane, who recently graduated from the University of Bath, won the opening game but was unable to maintain the pace as he eventually fell 22-20 14-21 14-21 in just under an hour.
But while he was understandably disappointed to miss out on the quarter-finals, Lane was satisfied with his overall week after being unable to train in the build up to the event.
“I think I played pretty well, I struggled a bit last week as I hurt my back in training so I didn’t play Saturday and I didn’t play Sunday or Monday,” he said.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, but I wanted to get to the last 16 that was where I expected to get myself and anything beyond that was a bonus.
“I had a good match against a player ranked 40 in the world and eventually he grinded me down a bit and I got a bit tired, but it was a good week.
“I’ve learnt a lot from this experience. I’ve just finished university and graduated, so I’m just starting to compete at this level again and being able to play tournaments.”
Lane’s defeat in the third round followed impressive victories over Rüdiger Gnedt and Joel König, before he dispatched fellow Englishman David Jones 21-10 21-18 in the round of 32.
And he believes there is still much more to come from him now he has finished his studies as he sets his sights on creeping into the top 100 in the world before the end of the season.
“I’m getting better and better and I would like to get into the top 100 in the world by the end of the season and at the moment I seem to be on track for that,” he said.
“I’ve had to qualify for the last couple of tournament, but I shouldn’t have to do that anymore and I’ll just keep training and keep getting better.
“Qualifying certainly doesn’t help as it means you have to play more matches and you get a bit more tired, so that is a disadvantage when you want to go further in the tournament.
“In the second and third sets there [Corvee] has probably only played one game before we met, while I had already had to play three, so it certainly doesn’t help.
“It does allow you to get used to the arena, but qualifying also takes it out of you. I haven’t played the Scottish Open for the last couple of years and I’ve enjoyed coming back.
“It was three or four years ago the last time I played and it’s a great tournament. The arena is big and it makes it harder to put the shuttle on the floor.
“This is what the big tournaments are like, though, but it’s a really good venue and a very well run tournament and the fans are always great.
“I didn’t notice any drift in the hall, it was quite quick lifting and clearing, but I didn’t notice any drift – certainly nothing that affected my game.”
A world class field of more than 300 hundred athletes from 37 nations have descended on Glasgow for the third oldest badminton tournament in the world.
Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European medallists are fighting it out over five days, from November 21-25, with the tournament boasting one of the strongest line-ups in its history.
The Scottish Open Badminton Championships are being staged at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow from November 21-25 by Badminton Scotland with support from Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. Tickets are on sale now at www.badmintonscotland.org.uk.
Featured image courtesy of wanda.pradipta via flickr, with thanks
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