Lydia making mark on international stage

Lydia Powell lunges forward to play a backhand. Picture courtesy Gary Baker
Lydia Powell lunges forward to play a backhand. Picture courtesy Gary Baker
  • Lydia Powell wins three matches at Portuguese International 2016
  • Hastings-based player defeats opponents from Portugal, Ireland and Belgium
  • Powell eventually beaten by Malaysian fourth seed
  • 19-year-old to compete in Romanian International tomorrow
  • Powell will also play in France later this month

Lydia Powell is having a busy time on the international badminton stage.

The Hastings-based player produced a good performance in the women’s singles at the 51st Portuguese International 2016 last week.

In the first half of the season I found it very difficult and I wasn’t playing my best badminton, so it was great to come through these matches beating the players I did.

Lydia Powell

Powell came through qualifying by beating Portuguese player Ana I. Santos 21-4, 21-6 and Ireland’s Rachael Darragh 21-19, 23-21.

She then overcame Flore Vandenhoucke 21-9, 22-20 in the first round of the event proper, avenging a narrow three-set defeat to the Belgian in their last meeting at Hellas International two years ago.

Powell’s progress was eventually halted in round two by a 21-7, 21-14 loss to Malaysian fourth seed Yin Fun Lim, a slightly older Malaysian player who has previously reached the World Junior Championships semi-finals.

“In the first half of the season I found it very difficult and I wasn’t playing my best badminton, so it was great to come through these matches beating the players I did,” said Powell. “I’ve felt a big change since the new year.”

The 19-year-old will begin her campaign at the Romanian International 2016 tomorrow (Friday) with a first round match against Dana Kugel from Israel, who she beat en route to the final at the Hatzor Isreal FS tournament back in November - her first senior international singles medal overseas.

Powell, who is training as part of the England ladies’ singles squad alongside national champion Fontaine Chapman, also played in the Austrian Open 2016 last month and will contest a tournament in France at the end of the month.

Although she’s enjoyed plenty of doubles success throughout her career, Powell is now focusing mainly on the singles game.

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