Neslihan Yigit was one point away from setting a milestone for Turkey at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021 but failed to convert match point against Mia Blichfeldt in an exciting second round match.
The Turkish player troubled the 13th seed with her unconventional attacking shots and the Dane appeared to be slipping at the end as Yigit overcame a 16-18 deficit to hold match point at 20-19.
Blichfeldt however stayed stubborn in the face of adversity and nailed the last three points for a memorable 17-21 21-13 22-20 result that gave her a third round appointment with China’s He Bing Jiao.
“I was just a point away from winning,” rued Yigit. “Maybe next time. She kept fighting hard. This year has been good, I got a lot of experience, so I hope I will improve for the next tournament. I’m happy with my performance, but I would’ve been happier if I’d gone into the next round.”
Blichfeldt was all praise for her vanquished opponent: “It was fighting spirit on both sides of the net. I have a lot of respect for Yigit. She has improved a lot and she has a fighter mentality. I just think matches like this are fun to win.”
It was the third meeting between the two, with Blichfeldt winning both. Their last match, in February 2020, too had been close.
“I think she’s an attacking player and a counter-attacking player. It makes it difficult for me as I had to be ready all the time. At match point down I said to myself that I could do it. That I had to keep the same pace. I’m very pleased with the way I won today, it means a lot, especially the way I kept my head.”