Badminton talent Lydia Powell is up to number four in the national rankings.
The 19-year-old from Hastings is in her highest position to date on the senior women’s singles list having won her first senior international singles medal overseas.
In her first year of playing solely in senior events, Powell reached the women’s singles final at the Hatzor Isreal FS tournament.
She said: “It was really good to reach the final. You’re not really necessarily expected to get results like that, but I definitely knew it was possible.
“I put quite a bit of pressure on myself to do well because I knew I could do and I had some games in my draw that were definitely winnable.”
Powell didn’t play particularly well early in the event, but managed to battle her way through. She then pulled off a very good victory in the semi-finals against an opponent from Belarus, recovering from a set down to triumph 2-1.
I think I’ve become a lot tougher, especially in three-set matches.Lydia Powell
In the final Powell was up against the world number 83 from the Czech Republic. Although she felt it was a winnable match, Powell didn’t play as well as she could’ve done and lost in straight sets.
“The previous two tournaments in Slovakia and Poland, I felt I hadn’t played that well at all,” she continued. “But this gave me my confidence back, which I needed because I lost quite a lot of confidence in the previous ones.
“I think I’ve become a lot tougher, especially in three-set matches. I don’t seem to lose in three at the moment and I never give up.”
Although ranked ninth in the country for women’s doubles, Powell is now focusing mainly on the singles game and switched National Badminton League clubs to MK Badminton for that reason.
That said, she won the women’s doubles at the Wimbledon Senior Gold tournament last weekend and reached the semi-finals of the women’s singles.
Powell was seeded one in the singles and won her opening two matches in straight sets before being edged out by 3/4 seed Georgina Bland, the national number six, in a tight three-setter.
After losing the opening set, Powell was on the brink of defeat at 20-15 down in the second before producing a tremendous fightback to clinch it 25-23. Too many unforced errors, however, led to her losing the third 21-18.
Powell was also the top seed in the doubles, where she was partnered by Lubomira Stoynova. They scraped through their first two matches in three sets before comfortably winning their semi-final.
The final, against unseeded pair Nicola Gresty and Abigail Holden, was another close contest, but Powell and Stoynova prevailed 21-10, 17-21, 21-17.
Powell currently trains four days per week in Milton Keynes.
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