Parsons reflects on career-high after Swiss International success

Sam Parsons believes victory over tournament favourite Artem Pochtarev was the perfect reward for what he described as the best tournament of his life.

Parsons had been second favourite heading into the final at the Swiss International, but came flying out of the blocks, conceding just eight points as he raced into a one-set lead against his Ukrainian opponent.

And the 21-year-old from Coventry showed no sign of letting up, completing the straight sets victory to take the title 21-8 21-17 in just 35 minutes, adding to his Under-17 Swiss International men’s singles and men’s doubles titles from 2012.

The third seed had already defied pre-tournament expectations by reaching the final, a run which had seen him narrowly get past Dane Ditlev Jaeger Holm 12-21 21-12 21-10 having lost the first set.

But Parsons was to deliver his all when it mattered most, something he admits will stay with him for a very long time.

“This win is probably the best of my career to date. Winning in Hatzor in 2015 was a big achievement but I have always wanted to be able to win international tournaments,” he said.

“Although I was up against the top seed in the final I went into the match thinking I had the ability to beat him.

“My coach Steve Butler and I had gone through the tactics and put in place a game plan that worked perfectly. I did not think the first set would be a score line like 21-8 but I had a plan and stuck to it.”

Pochtarev had only dropped one set going into the final, but a clinical display from the Englishman showed its worth in Yverdon-les-Bains.

But rather than just reflecting on one impressive victory, Parsons was delighted that a fine week in Switzerland provided its rewards with a tournament success.

“I had some tough three-set matches before I played the final but I have been doing the hard work in training and this has shown in my matchplay at tournaments recently,” he added.

“It gave me a lot of confidence for the final as I was able to fight through the earlier rounds and find a way to win.

“This is the most consistent that I have played in a long time and everything that I have been working on in training has started to come together in this tournament.

“I now have a training phase for three weeks before the Scottish open and off the back of this result it is making me hungry to get training again and keep improving and hopefully I can continue to bring the good form into my next tournaments.”

Parsons’ route to the final was made slightly easier through the help of compatriot Alex Lane.

The 21-year-old was responsible for knocking out second seed Nick Fransman in straight sets, though Lane himself missed out in the next round, going down to Holm.

But it wasn’t to be in the women’s singles for Fontaine Chapman, knocked out in the semi-finals by Malaysia’s Lee Ying Ying.

The second seed lost out 21-18 21-12 in the last four, missing out on a place in the final having beaten France’s Juliane Piron 21-11 21-11 in the first round.

Chapman, also from Coventry, went on to get the better of Emilie Aalestrup from Norway 21-9 21-9 while quarter-final opponent Flore Vandenhoucke had to withdraw in the second set due to injury.


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