Rhys Walker is preparing for his final tournament of the season after achieving his best result on the European badminton circuit.
The 18-year-old from Nuneaton won three times to achieve his goal of making the main draw in the Portuguese International Open two weeks ago.
He is now preparing for the Spanish International Open in eight days time with his sights set on making it through qualifying again.
He said: “It’s my last tournament of the season so I’m looking to make the main draw again, luck with the qualifying draw permitting. It might not sound like much, but I’m really pleased with the progress I’m making.”
Walker eventually lost 21-17 21-15 to Italian Rosario Maddaloni in the first round of the main draw, but he was thrilled with his progress overall.
“It was a great result. I was really happy to make the main draw as that was my target going into the tournament.
“Each game I won was against a different kind of opponent. I had to be solid and controlled. I had to make use of what I’d learned in the senior tournaments I’d played in before,” he said.
Walker earned an added bonus when he made it all the way to the semi-final of the mixed doubles with partner Sophie Brown, 19. They lost to eventual winners Marcus Ellis and Gabrielle White, however, Walker was thrilled to see off more experienced players on the way.
“To make the mixed doubles was just a fantastic bonus. To do so well overall in a senior tournament was really pleasing,” he said.