Photo credit: Tang Shi
So close and yet so far
After a first day at the World Championships without any major upsets we were so close to seeing the first one on Tuesday morning when former world champion from Thailand, Ratchanok Intanon, was up against Denmark’s best, Mia Blichfeldt.
Most fans surely predicted a win for the 4th seeded Thai who is among the favorites to take the title in Nanjing, but it looked as if these fans would not be right when status after 50 minutes of play was that Blichfeldt had a 19-16 lead in second game after having won first game by 21-16. The Danish girl played with lots of patience and forced Ratchanok to make mistake after mistake and seemed very confident as if this was just another normal day in the office. It was a Danish girl in full control of the match.
But at 19-16 for Blichfeldt, Ratchanok received medical attention after sliding and hurting her right foot. This small break changed the match completely. The Thai favorite bagged the second game 22-20 and didn’t look back after that. With an 11-4 lead at side change in third game it was only a matter of minutes before Ratchanok would be through to next round.
Blichfeldt seemed to have lost her confidence at the same time as Ratchanok was finding hers again and after 76 minutes of play the Thai victory was in the bag. And it was a Thai who had lots of respect for her opponent after the match; she told Blichfeldt that she played very well and she just had to keep improving, then her time would surely come.
In a match where the two theme songs could very well have been ‘Patience’ from Guns’n’Roses for the Dane and Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’ for the Thai, the two girls can be proud of giving us a good match where both had their controlling moments on the way. However, it will be a very disappointed Danish girl who goes to bed tonight while the Thai must certainly be somehow relieved that she isn’t on the way back home to Thailand already now.
Ratchanok Intanon vs. Mia Blichfeldt 16-21 22-20 21-10
Total points: 110
Length of match: 76 min
Points per minute: 1.45
Seconds per point: 41.45