Agathangelou jumps an age group to impress at Wimbledon

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Her reasons for doing so were simple.

To qualify for the grand finals at the beginning of next year she has to compete in two under-19 tournaments, and the two she has selected are Wimbledon and the Jersey open.The singles competition was played first and in her draw were fourth seed Michelle Cheung and Kelly Clements.

Against Cheung she went into the first set unfocused and lost 11-2.

However, she showed more determination in the second set and, at one stage was leading 6-4, before her opponent pulled back to win 11-6.Afterwards, showing more self-belief, she said that with extra training she will eventually beat her older rival.The doubles saw Agathangelou and long-time partner Vicki Ingram, from Staffordshire, take on Naomi Tarry and Jessica White.

This was going to be a very hard game as White had a point to prove to England top coach and world class manager Justine Willmott.

For, from 10 to 15 October, England compete in Denmark where Agathangelou has been chosen ahead of White.

To compound matters, White and Tarry were beaten by Agathangelou and Ingram towards the end of last season when the Jersey girl and her partner won the Wimbledon Open.So the English girls desperately wanted to win and began the game at a tremendous pace, where hard hitting smashes and delicate drop shots were played on court by all four players.However, the young pair of Agathangelou and Ingram proved their superiority by winning in two sets 15-11, 15-13.The second doubles game was against the under-19 England pair and No 4 seeds, Grant and Ward.

Knowing they were obvious underdogs with nothing to lose, they went into the game to play adventurous badminton, and to the watching spectators, this do-or-die attitude showed.The girls played fantastic, flowing badminton, and by using their heads they created spaces on court, outplaying their opponents, winning 15-3, 15-9, and causing the biggest upset of the tournament.The semi-finals then saw the young 15-year-olds face No 1 England pair and No 1 seeds Heather Olver and Caroline Westley.

The first game went according to plan as the No 1 pair dominated and showed their true class by winning 15-6.

In the second set, however, Agathangelou and Ingram dug deep and at one point outplayed their opponents, keeping up with them all the way, and reached 11-13 before they ran out of steam, losing the game 13-15.On this evidence the Jersey/Staffs pairing have a great deal of potential.Agathangelou is sponsored by Wheways and ESC.

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