European Championships 2017

Posted by Carissa Turner at 02:04 on 27 April 2017

This week Jordan Hart travelled to Denmark for her first European Championships where she drew the toughest competitor, world no.2 Carolina Marin.

We asked Jordan about her experience at her first continental championships and this is what she said:
"This was my first European Individual Championships so I was very excited to be chosen to play this event. When the draw came out and I saw I had to play Carolina the feeling was pure excitement. I would say that at the moment in the world, Carolina is the player I aspire to be on court. I love her fire and determination and of course being Current Olympic Champion is incredible. 

I have had a tough few weeks with lots of training and competition but especially university. The morning of my match was the deadline for my dissertation and in the evening I would be playing Carolina so it was a pretty exciting day.

After speaking with my coaches Matt and Mike, the game plan was to worry about myself and really try to put in a good performance. There was nothing I could do really to change the way Carolina was going to play, so the main focus was not to let the event or the fact I was playing such a big name as Carolina affect me. Its a really rare feeling walking onto court and there being zero expectation on your shoulders, so I really tried to embrace that and had a really positive mindset stepping onto court.

I enjoyed every second that I was on court with Carolina. I really tried to use my strengths in the game and not worry about she was doing. There were times where the rallies were short due to her shot quality, but I really felt like I was able to stick with her and that was an awesome feeling.

The European Championships was a chance to get an understanding of where I am currently and how I need to progress to the next stage of my game. This was only my second tournament of this scale - the first being the All England earlier this year - and I would love to be competing week in week out at this level. I think these tournaments were a dream of mine when I was a young player, and now I’m starting to see the results of a lot of hard work this season which is really satisfying. I think these types of tournaments are what young players should be aspiring to reach, as it really was an amazing experience.

Next week I am looking forward to having a week at home with some good training in Loughborough, not forgetting some revision for my final year exams. Then onto Slovenia International the following week which is my final tournament of the season."

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Performance Manager & National Coach, Matthew Hughes also travelled to Denmark with Jordan for the event. As an ex-international  player  and long term coach he has plenty of experience and knowledge to offer about stepping on to court in a major event against a  world class player. He said this of Jordan's performance:
"From the moment the draw was published, Jordan was extremely excited to be drawn against the double World Champion and current world no.2. Carolina Marin of Spain. 

Having digested the magnitude of the job in hand it was important for Jordan to establish a game plan to enable her to perform well and be as competitive as possible. This meant remaining on court for as long as she could; a task easier said than done! Given the circumstances there was no question this was an excellent opportunity for Jordan to pitch herself against the best and get a true feeling of what it takes to be the best. Jordan executed her game plan extremely well, her overall performance was good - exchanging good quality rallies and demonstrating a level of competitiveness which was pleasing. 
This performance and opportunity will provide Jordan with confidence and self-belief; a key ingredient all aspiring athletes need to further their development to achieving their long-term goals."

You can keep up to date with all of the European Championships results here.