Simon and Krajewski Advance to Quarterfinals at Brazil Parabadminton International 2023
Day 1 & 2
By: Mike Krajewski
Four players from USA Parabadminton began play in the 2023 edition of the Brazil Parabadminton International on April 10, 2023 with Amy Burnett (WH1), Richard Alcaraz (SL4), Jayci Simon (SH6) and Miles Krajewski (SH6) in Sao Paulo competing in the third tournament of the 2024 Paris qualifying period.
Burnett entered in WH1 Women’s Singles and WH1-WH2 Mixed Doubles (with Roberth Nolberto Fajardo Flores from Peru). Amy finished group play 0-2, losing a close match to Juscileia De Carvalho Silva (Brazil) 21-13, 15-21, 20-22 and losing to the seeded player Auricelia Nunes Evangelista 8-21, 4-21. In Mixed Doubles, however, the USA/Peru pair has gone 1-1 with one remaining match, where a win will advance them out of group play and into the quarterfinals.
Alcaraz competed in SL4 Men’s Singles and opted to play Men’s Doubles in the SU5 category with partner Anthony Alvarado from Venezuela. As one of 35 competitors, Alcaraz had a tall order in front of him heading into the tournament. He has completed two of his three group matches, losing his first to Pan Am #1 Rogerio Junior Xavier De Oliveira (Brazil), 3-21, 8-21, and dropping his second in a hard-fought match against Teddy Ferrazza (France) 17-21, 19-21. Alcaraz finishes his singles play with a match against India on Wednesday. In Doubles, the USA/Venezuela pair dropped a very competitive match to a Brazil pair 19-21, 15-21.
The United States has seen its most success at this tournament in SH6 action. In mixed doubles, the pair of Simon and Krajewski cruised to a win in their first match against Brazil, 21-9, 21-5.
In singles, both Krajewski and Simon have started 1-0, each with wins against Brazilian players. Simon defeated Renata Dos Resi Henrique (Brazil), 21-4, 21-2, in women’s singles and in men’s singles, Krajewski defeated Faltino Saraiva 21-8, 21-9. They each have difficult matches on Wednesday in their respective events. Simon’s second match will be against defending Pan Am champion, Giuliana Poveda Flores (Peru) and Krajewski is matched up against current World #4, Charles Noakes (France).
In doubles action, Simon teamed up with Yasmina Eissa (Egypt) for SH6 women’s doubles and Krajewski paired with his long-time partner, Vitor Tavares (Brazil). Simon & Eissa started the tournament with a 3-game battle against the Peruvian pair of Rosa Luisa Velasquez Turin and Rubi Milagros Fernandez Vargas, winning 21-15, 16-21, 21-15. On the men’s side, Krajewski and Tavares defeated a Brazilian pair 21-5, 21-4.
The USA Parabadminton team completed the third day of competition at the 2023 Brazil Parabadminton International with a number of exciting matches. All four players were in action on Wednesday.
In WH1-WH2 mixed doubles action, Amy Burnett and her Peruvian partner earned their second group win against the combined pair from Italy and Australia in combing fashion 21-8, 21-8. The second place group finish advanced them into the quarterfinals.
USA’s lone SL4 player, Richard Alcaraz, closed out group play in both singles and SU5 men’s doubles. Both matches were against India and proved to be difficult matches. Alcaraz lost in singles 21-5, 21-8 and, along with his Venezuelan partner, list in doubles 21-12, 21-7. The matches marked the end of tournament play for Alcaraz but he will continue his coaching role for Jayci Simon and Miles Krajewski in their SH6 events.
In SH6, Day 3 represented the toughest matchups of the tournament for both Simon and Krajewski. They started the day dropping a hotly contested mixed doubles match against Hong Kong, 22-20, 21–17.
Simon then had the challenge of playing world #2 and 2019 World Champion, Giuliana Poveda Flores from Peru. Simon came out strong, winning the first game 21-9 but then dropped the second and third games, 21-9, 21-9. The loss resulted in a second place finish in her group, still enough to advance to the last 16.
In SH6 men’s singles action, Krajewski faced the #4 seed from France. In a seesaw battle, Krajewski found himself on the short end of the ledger, losing 21-18, 21-16. The second place group finish advanced Krajewski to the Round of 16.
Team USA did end on a high note, though, with the combined SH6 women’s doubles pair of Simon and Yasmina Eissa (Egypt) earning a critical group win against the seeded pair from Poland, 21-15, 18-21, 21–15. The win guaranteed a spot directly into the semifinals, clinching a medal in the process.
Thursday marked the beginning of knockouts in most events at the 2023 edition of the Brazil Parabadminton International. Three players from Team USA remained in the hunt going into the day.
First match of the day for USA was the WH1-WH2 mixed doubles quarterfinal match of Amy Burnett and her Peruvian partner versus a mixed pair from Italy and Peru. The USA/Peru pair fell short 21-8, 21-9 and brought the tournament to an end for Burnett.
Following a bit of a difficult day on Wednesday, USA’s SH6 players Jayci Simon and Miles Krajewski bounced back as they entered the knockouts in singles and finished up group play in their respective doubles events.
Simon and Krajewski started the day by winning their last group match against Canada in mixed doubles, 21-9, 21–16. The win earned the pair a spot in the quarterfinals and valuable Race to Paris ranking points. SH6 mixed doubles will make its debut in the 2024 Paris Paralympics.
The match of the day goes Krajewski in the Round of 16 in men’s singles. After losing a hard-fought match to world #4 in group play on Wednesday, the draw came up with world #6, Chun Yim Wong from Hong Kong, for today’s win-or-go-home match in the Round of 16. Krajewski came out string and jumped to a 9-0 lead before Wong got on the board. Krajewski cruised to a 21-6 win in the first game but Wong was determined not to face the same fate in the second. The two exchanged 2- and 3-point runs all the way until it was 16-all on the scoreboard. Krajewski picked an opportune time for his next 3-point run and went up 19-16. The two then exchanged points to make it 20-17 and giving Krajewski three match points. Wong did not give up the fight and drew to 20-19 before Krajewski finished off the match 21–19. Krajewski will now face world #4 Krysten Coombs from England in Friday’s quarterfinal.
It was then Simon’s turn to earn her spot into the women’s singles quarterfinals. She was up for the challenge, easily advancing by defeating Choi Wing Kei from Hong Kong, 21-6, 21-3.
And lastly, in SH6 men’s doubles, Krajewski and Tavares (Brazil) defeated Canada in the final group match, earning the pair a quarterfinal bye directly into the semifinals.
Action continues on Friday for Krajewski and Simon as the pair continues to fight for valuable qualifying points toward the 2024 Paris Paralympics. Follow all the matches at:
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Photo Credit: BadmintonPhoto (Craig Burgess)