Airi Mikkela (pictured) finally began to realise her true potential this afternoon by breaking her qualification Hoodoo to qualify for the main draw of the 2013 Yonex Czech International.
The 20 year old Finn burst onto the scene at the 2011 European Junior Championships in Vantaa and since then has failed to live up to the high expectations and goals she set herself. Mikkela has admitted to overtraining in the past which she feels in hindsight had a negative effect on her game. A move to Odense in Denmark coupled with a new found outlook and optimism has seen the Finn starting to finally realise her true potential.
“It is true that it was a frustrating time over the last two years but I took it back to basics and now I feel like I am moving in the right direction”
In today’s qualification matches, Mikkela displayed her improved mental capabilities in beating rising French starlet Anne Tran in three games. The Finn then destroyed Czech 4th seed Katerina Tomalova to finally book her main draw spot after many tournaments trying.
“This is a big relief and beating the French girl this morning gave me a great boost going into the afternoons match”
With the broadest smile in the hall Mikkela was overjoyed to finally make the main draw. “This is very big for me as it confirms the work I am now doing is starting to pay off. It also breaks that loosing mentality and I now feel I have learned to take this step out of qualification and be in the main draw by right”
In her first year out of juniors England’s Chloe Birch spent a total of 29 minutes on court in two qualification matches to overpower her opponents as she marched to the main draw proper. Elsewhere it was a good day for Ukrainian youngsters Samarchants & Dmytryshyn as both came through qualification on adjoining courts against higher ranked opposition.
Fransman through but unlucky to have to do so
Nick Fransman will feel rather unlucky today even after qualifying relatively easily for tomorrow’s main draw. The Dutchman was top seed in the qualification draw where 9 times out of 10 the top seed in qualification would justifiably feel confident in gaining promotion to the main draw due to a late withdrawal or injury.
With not a single withdrawal Fransman came on court and came through the three rounds needed to advance to a first round meeting with Indonesia’s Siswanto.
Elsewhere Denmark’s Mathias Mundbjerg, fresh from his cycle up the Tour De France regular 1912m high Mount Ventoux, came through three rounds of qualification to advance to the main draw where he will play fellow Dane and qualifier Patrick Bjerregaard.