Hounslow badminton star Rajiv Ouseph save three match points before came from behind to beat Commonwealth Games rival Chong Wei Feng in the first round of the Li-Ning BWF World Championships.
Ouseph had lost the first game on Tuesday night 21-17 and found himself facing three match points in the second in the stifling Ballerup Super Arena in Copenhagen.
But he battled superbly to take the game 24-22 to level the match before claiming victory with a 21-16 triumph in the third and gave him sweet revenge for defeat at the same stage in last year’s World Championships in Guangzhou as well as the team final at Glasgow 2014.
European silver medallist Ouseph had to do it the hard way against the 16th seed having gone in front 10-7 in the opener only for the Malaysian to hit back and lead 16-13 on the way to taking the first game.
In the second Ouseph went ahead 4-2 but once Chong was level, he never led again until he had saved the three match points and then grabbed a game point at 23-22 before levelling the match 24-22.
The decider again tested Ouseph’s patience as he pegged back Chong from 10-6 down to lead 13-11.
And that provided the springboard as Ouseph’s patient play started to bring the errors from Chong and a second-round clash tonight with India’s Kidambi Srikanth was assured. The pair have never met and Srikanth is just one place behind number 22 Ouseph in the world rankings.
Ouseph said: “It was quite tough and I just stuck in there as long as I could. It was quite close last time I played him and if I just stuck in there maybe he would get nervous again.
“When it got close in the second set I started playing my best and again at the end of the third.
"I know he is a quality player and he was putting me under a lot of pressure in the first set and a half. But I could see glimpses of him slowing down towards the end of the second. I am just happy to get through.”