Daybell, Perry and Pickard through to semi-finals in France

Daybell, Perry and Pickard through to semi-finals in France

Doctor and two-time Paralympian Kim Daybell fought his way into the semi-finals of the men’s class 10 singles at the SQY French Para Open in Saint Quentin en Yvelines today and will play for a medal tomorrow. Fliss Pickard (women’s class 6) and Martin Perry (men’s class 6) are also into the semi-finals while Dan Bullen (men’s class 5) and Alex Bland (men’s class 7) are through to the quarterfinals.

Women’s class 6

Fliss Pickard lost only two points in her opening group match against the World number 23 from India Poonam Poonam and secured her place in the semi-finals as group winner with a 3-0 win against 26-year-old Merethe Tveiten, the former European Championship team bronze medallist from Norway.

Women’s class 7-8

Grace Williams pushed 21-year-old Lucie Hautiere all the way in the first set before the class 8 World number 16 from France edged it 12-10 and went on to take the match 3-0. The 18-year-old from Wrexham led Sophia Kelmer 2-1 in her second match but the 13-year-old from Brazil fought back to win 3-2 and Williams went out after a 3-0 loss in her final match to another 13-year-old Magdalen Sutkowska Pawlasek from Poland, the class 8 World number 18.

Men’s class 2

Andrew Guy was drawn in a tough group and lost his first match to top seed Tomasz Jakimczuk, the World Paralympic and European team bronze medallist from Poland, 3-0. Having lost to the Frenchman Julien Michaud in the semi-finals of the Costa Brava Spanish Open last month he found the 42-year-old World number 26 just too strong again, losing 12-10 in the third.

Men’s class 4

Lee York faced the former World, Paralympic and European team gold medallist Emeric Martin in his first match and despite playing in his first competition since 2017 the 48-year-old former World number one from France was too strong in a 3-0 win. After losing a tight first set to Trivendra Singh from India 12-10 York led 2-1 before the 2019 Bangkok Open bronze medallist came back to take a close fourth set 11-9 and went on to win the deciding set 11-6. The 32-year-old from Wakefield went out of the singles after a 3-0 loss in his final match to Peter Mihalik, the World number 14 and Tokyo team bronze medallist from the Slovak Republic.

Men’s class 5

Dan Bullen began with a 3-1 loss to Nasiru Sule, the former African champion from Nigeria, and then came through a great battle against Lucas Carvalhal Arabian from Brazil, fighting back to win 3-2 after the 15-year-old international debutant had led 2-1. The 23-year-old from St Neots had to fight hard again in his final Group C match against Raj Alagar from India before securing a 3-2 win that took him into the quarterfinals tomorrow where he will play 17-year-old Isak Nyholm from Sweden.

In Group B self-funded athlete Simon Heaps lost his opening match 3-1 to World number 16 Joerg Didion from Germany and went out after a 3-1 loss to Nyholm.

Men’s class 6

Martin Perry lost his opening match to Piotr Manturz from Poland, fighting back to level at 2-2 after the 17-year-old had led 2-0 but losing the deciding set 11-6. His second opponent Haris Eminovic

from Bosnia and Herzegovina had edged their previous encounter in the World Qualification Tournament in June in five sets but it was Perry who came out on top today with a 3-0 win. With Eminovic beating Manturz 3-2 the group was decided on countback with Perry going through to the semi-finals as group winner to play Kazuki Shichino from Japan.

Men’s class 7

Alex Bland began with a comfortable 3-0 win against Yotam Sheinfeld from Israel and then beat the 25-year-old European team bronze medallist Tomas Valach from the Slovak Republic 3-1. His final match against Sam Gustafsson went down to the wire and the 18-year-old from Sweden just edged it 13-11 in the fifth but Bland went through to the quarterfinals as winner of Group D and will play Yannick Paredis from Netherlands.

In Group A Theo Bishop fought back from 2-1 down to beat Sanjeev Hammannavar from India 11-6 in the fifth and then put up a great performance against Paralympic bronze medallist Maksym Chudzicki from Poland, leading 2-1 before the 22-year-old World number 11 came back to take the match 3-2. Bishop needed to win his final match to go through to the knockout stages but after taking the first set against Kayode Alabi the 33-year-old from Nigeria took the match 3-1.

Men’s class 9

Craig Allen was beaten 3-0 by 18-year-old Lucas Didier from France, silver medallist at the Costa Brava Spanish Open last month, and went out after a 3-0 loss to the World number 29 David Pulpan from Czech Republic.

Men’s class 10

Kim Daybell finished top of Group C after 3-0 wins against 18-year-old Vishwa Tambe from India and 17-year-old Frenchman Julien Cigolotti. That took him through to the quarter finals where he played the two-time African champion Alabi Olufemi. The Tokyo team bronze medallist from Nigeria led 2-1 but Daybell fought back to take the fourth set 11-5 and held his nerve to take the deciding set 11-9 and the match 3-2. He will play World number seven Igor Misztal from Poland in the semi-finals.

In Group B Shae Thakker was beaten 3-0 by World number 11 Luka Bakic from Montenegro but progressed from Group B after a 3-0 win against Cristian Casal Cappillo from Chile the 2019 Copa Tango team gold medallist. The 18-year-old from High Wycombe was far from disgraced in a 3-0 defeat by Misztal in the quarterfinals.