"I knew it could be my last match, so I just gave it everything."
British Asian badminton player Rajiv Ouseph is through to the men’s singles quarterfinals, after beating Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto 2-1.
The 29-year-old from Hounslow, London, sets the pace of the match by taking the first set.
However, the Indonesian with incredible court speed starts launching body smashes at him, and claims the second set.
As the third set begins, Rajiv suffers from 4-1 down before making one of the most spectacular comebacks.
Calm and steady, he closes the gap with Tommy one point at a time by delivering beautiful drop shots and attacking from different angles.
With a four-point lead, he takes the final set with a 15-shot rally that ends in a deadly smash.
Rajiv, who had a poor track record against Tommy before, wins the match 21-13, 14-21, 21-16.
In a post-match interview, the British Indian athlete says: “That was very tense. But I knew it could be my last match, so I just gave it everything.
“I’ve played him a few times and never won but I’ve won the important one now. I didn’t have any fear, the way the draw worked out this was probably my best chance.
“Winning that first game settled the nerves and calmed me down, but I dropped my level a bit in the second game. I’m really proud with how I came back there to close it out.
“As I get older, I learn more about myself and I know to play to my strengths.”
Twittersphere is loving Rajiv, who triumphs over the traditionally-strong Southeast Asian country and takes Great Britain closer to their next medal.
— Jenny Wallwork (@Jennywallwork) 15 August 2016
— Peter Mills (@millsyp88) 15 August 2016
On August 17, 2016, Rajiv will face Viktor Axelsen, who knocks out Ireland’s Scott Evans in two straight sets.
The 22-year-old Danish is the current European Champion. Rajiv will have to play his best game to secure his place in the semifinals.
Here is the full fixture of Men’s Singles Quarterfinals in Rio 2016 (UK time):
- Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) vs Chou Tien-chen (Taipei) ~ August 17, 12.30pm
- Lin Dan (China) vs Srikanth Kidambi (India) ~ August 17, 1.30pm
- Rajiv Ouseph (Great Britain) vs Viktor Axelsen (Denmark) ~ August 17, 2.30pm
- Son Wan-Ho (South Korea) vs Chen Long (China) ~ August 17, 3.30pm
DESIblitz congratulates Rajiv Ouseph on his remarkable victory and wishes him all the best in the quarterfinals!