Hounslow’s Rajiv Ouseph insists he must now build on his remarkable victory after beating third seed Son Wan Ho in the most dramatic of circumstances at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham on Wednesday.
Son had already saved one match point in the deciding set when the Korean challenged a close line-call on the second.
The umpire originally ruled that Ouseph’s smash was in and big-screen replays confirmed this call to hand the Englishman a 21-16, 18-21, 21-19 win in front of a partisan home crowd at the Barclaycard Arena.
And while admitting that victory over the world No.4 was one of his best, the 28-year-old says his hard work will be undone unless he follows that up in the second round on Thursday.
“I must admit that’s the first time I’ve been in a match that has ended with a controversial line-call up on the screen so everyone can see!” explained Ouseph.
“I’m just happy to have won and happy to have done it at my home tournament – I’m just really thrilled.
“I didn’t really know if the line-call was going to go my way – my coach said ‘yeah, it’s in – don’t worry about it’ but his coach was getting him ready to focus on the next point in case it was out.
“This is definitely up there in terms of best career victories for me – he’s obviously very highly ranked and he made the semi-finals here last year.
“It’s a really big win for me but I need to take it one game at a time and try to win my next game on Thursday.
“A win like this gives me a lot of confidence but I’ve had big opening wins here before and then not produced in the round two, so for me the challenge is consistency and hopefully I can do that.”
Ouseph will face either India’s H.S. Prannoy or France’s Brice Leverdez in round two as he looks to make the quarter-finals at the All Englands for the first time.
The World No.22 has fallen at the second hurdle on three previous occasions – in 2010, 2012 and 2014 – but is hoping to go at least one better this time around with the vocal home support behind him.
“The crowd really pushed me through,” added Ouseph. “I think I was a little bit down halfway through the third set but I got another overturned line call at that stage and from then on, the crowd really got behind me.
“I was quite tired, so they really pushed me through and I’m really thankful to be through.”
Tickets for the YONEX All England 2015 at the stunning new Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham are available on the door or online at allenglandbadminton.com.