Hart wins in Jamaica!
Jordan Hart achieves her first Senior International Series win in Jamaica! After reaching a career high ranking of 102, Hart has done it again just one week later, climbing to 93 in the world!
This week saw Jordan Hart, Wales’ number 1, on the road once again, travelling to the Caribbean Island of Jamaica. Fuelled by her successful second place performance in the Slovak Open the week prior, Jordan continued her winning ways making easy work of her first three games progressing to an exceptional final performance. In just 2 sets Hart beat Ksenia Polikarpova of Israel 23-21, 21-18, to take the gold and crowned victor of the V Jamaica International 2019.
Read Jordan’s full report below:
There was only 1 day to rest and organise myself between Slovakia and flying to Jamaica so it was a very quick turn around.
This wasn’t my first long haul flight before a competition as I played in the US just before Christmas but this was definitely my first time playing in such high temperatures.
It was really important to try and acclimatise as quick as possible so the day after we arrived I trained in the arena for the first time. It was 30 degrees and very humid so was tough to begin with but I felt good after getting some training in.
My first and second rounds in Jamaica were relatively straight forward getting my tournament underway with two wins. Firstly, Mariana Uganda from Mexico 21-6 21-8 and secondly Diana Corleto Soto from Guatemala 21-7 21-7
My Semi Final was against Maria Ulitina of the Ukraine (3/4 seed) I had played Maria twice previously. Once a few years ago and the other last year at the European Championships. I lost both these matches.
I know my level is much higher now than our previous meetings but it is still difficult going into a match knowing you have previously lost.
I felt both of us were very uptight in the match as there was a lot riding on the outcome. At 11 in the first set I was 11-7 down but managed to get back into the game levelling it at 16-16. The end of the set was very close but I managed to win 21-18.
In the second set I started poorly and was 11-4 down at the interval. I got stuck in and levelled the match at 15-15. The pressure was more on my opponent at this stage as she needed to win the 2nd set to take the match to a third but I was steady and won the match 21-16
The final was against Ksenia Polikapova of Israel and the Number 1 seed for this tournament. I had not played Ksenia before so it was important I prepared with match analysis before the match with my coach Steve Butler whom had travelled with me to the tournament. After a nervous start I found a rhythm and won my first set 23-21. Again like the semi final, the pressure was on my opponent to win the second set. The score was 11-9 at the interval in favour of Ksenia. I took the lead at 16-15 and won 21-18.
I can’t really describe how amazing the feeling was to be crowned champion in Jamaica. It’s excitement but also relief as I have wanted to win a tournament for a long time now. There were many times in the tournament I had to deal with coming back from behind to win and also perform when I was extremely nervous and the help that my coach gives me at those key times is second to none. This win has also put me into the Top 100 in the world at 93 which has been a target of mine for the last few months.
It is important for me now to continue this momentum and prepare correctly in Cuba this week where I am seeded number 2.’
Badminton Wales would like to offer a huge congratulations to Jordan on achieving a career high ranking placing in the top 100, a position which has not been achieved by a Wales player since Carissa Turner in 2013. We wish her the best of luck competing this week in Cuba for the XX Giraldilla 2019. Follow her progress live here: