Greetings from Andrew Dabeka

March 13, 2008 4:13 PM

Hello Once Again!

Greetings from Basel, Switzerland!

I once again had a tough match in my first round of the Swiss Open SuperSeries event. I played Lin Dan of China, the world number 1 and reigning world champion. After a crushing defeat at his hands, I come away knowing clearly why he is number 1.

He is fast, almost always on balance and taking the shuttles extremely early. He is hitting the cleanest shots I have ever witnessed, with power and deception. Tactically, he is playing constantly away from his opponent's strengths, and is always ready to pounce on loose shots. On top of this, he uses every cm of the court, making his opponents stretch further than they have ever done before. He is supremely confident, and is truly connected to what is doing out there, so he will not easily get rattled.

That being said, given the conditions of the day, I am extremely proud of my 21-12, 21-7 loss. I was quite sick over the weekend, with a fever and was only recovered by Monday. This meant that I wasn't feeling 100% for my match yesterday. Despite this, I did some very good things in the match. Although there was never really any threat of him losing, I still had some rallies that tested my best things against his, and I came out victorious. Of course, most of the rallies turned out the other way, but I will gloriously remember those few where I stretched him to his limit.

Most importantly, I will once again draw out the lessons, and tirelessly keep working to improve my game. My three biggest tournaments of the season are coming up soon, and I want to be ready for these...In two weeks, I will play the Polish Open, followed the next week by the Finnish Open. My last tournament of the Olympic qualification period will be the Canadian Open, held in Montreal from April 22-26. That's the plan. It's time to perform....



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