BADMINTON star Fontaine Chapman is targeting a place in the world’s top 40 after bowing out of the All England Open Championships in Birmingham last weekend.
Chapman went down 21-7, 21-15 to world number four Sung Ji Hyun in the first round of the women’s singles at the Barclaycard Arena on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old insists the result won’t detract too heavily from a promising week in Birmingham however, as she beat both Malaysia’s Peiy Yee Payee Lim and USA’s Rong Schafer on Tuesday to qualify for the main draw.
But the current world No.68, who is ranked as England’s number one women’s player, is aiming even higher after the second set against Sung proved she could live with one of the world’s best.
“I was really pleased with the second set – I think the first set is always difficult when you go against these top players in the world.” said Chapman.
“You really want to go out and perform well but she plays at a much higher pace and a much higher level than me, so I was getting frustrated with myself.
“But she won the German Open last week, so she’s a very good player and my coach told me to relax and enjoy myself.
“I think I was being a bit tough on myself and as soon as I relaxed, I played much better in the second set.
“There are definitely some positives to take from the performance – when you can rally with the best players in the world, it’s a good sign.
“I have got a few targets in terms of tournaments but moving forward I want to get my ranking into the top 50 or top 40 in the world.”
Chapman will not have long to reflect on the All England as she prepares to head to Switzerland for the Swiss Open event which begins on March 10.
And after that, the Brit has a busy schedule lined up as she tries to move herself up the world rankings.
“I go to the Swiss Open next week and I’ve just been promoted to the main draw, so I’m really pleased about that.” added Chapman.
“Then after that I’ve got a few International Challenges and a few lower-level tournaments before it’s back into the higher level ones just to try and mix in with these top players again.
“I’d like to medal in a few more International Challenges and maybe win another one.
“It’s always tough getting the right balance between a higher level tournament and one where I can go out, win a few rounds and get to semis and finals.”
Tickets for the YONEX All England 2015 at the stunning new Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham are available on the door or online at allenglandbadminton.com.