Women’s class 4

Megan Shackleton needed to win her second group match against Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel from India and she made a brave attempt, fighting for every point but eventually losing in four close sets 7-11, 11-9, 15-17, 11-13.

“My goal was to get out of the group stages here,” said the 22-year-old from Todmorden, “and I think I was more than capable of it but I felt the pressure a little bit and didn’t quite manage to settle myself into it match the way I would have liked. But I carried on fighting as best as I could and I can be proud that I didn’t give up and I fought to the end.

“I’ve grown up watching the Olympics and the Paralympics and I’ve set myself that goal from being a little kid so to have realised that dream is like a win in itself. I’ll keep playing and keep building the experience and next time I’ll get out of the group stages and start taking medals - that’s my goal.

“I’m really looking forward to the team event. Me and Sue (Bailey) have been doing some great stuff together over the last few years and it will be a nice experience for Sue to play team event in the Paralympics again and we’ll see what we can do together.”

On her Paralympic debut Megan Shackleton took on the two-time Paralympic and World champion Zhou Ying from China but showed little sign of nerves as she took a 5-2 lead in the first game. Although Zhou came back to take the game 11-8 and went on to win the match 3-0 the scoreline did not do justice to Shackleton as she forced the women’s class 4 World number one to produce her best.

“Going out there I was really excited to get going,” said the 22-year-old from Todmorden. “Me and Zhou have had some really close matches in the past so I knew I had a chance but I guess that proves why she is such a top player on the world stage and hopefully with a bit of experience those matches can turn into my wins eventually.

“It’s my first Paralympics and I didn’t really know what to expect if I’m being honest; I didn’t know if I would feel like an intruder but I felt like I belonged which was nice and I really enjoyed getting stuck in and fighting for the points. I think going into my next match I know what to expect and I’ll be better prepared than ever. I’ve been working hard in Sheffield and I know that I’ve got it all in the tank and it is just about bringing it out at the right time.”

Shackleton plays her second group match tomorrow against the World number 12 from India Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel.

Sue Bailey also needed to win her second match and was bitterly disappointed to lose 3-1 to the former World team silver medallist from Chinese Taipei Lu Pi-chun.

“I was flying at the qualification tournament,” said Bailey, “and felt really good coming into this tournament. I felt really confident going into the match yesterday but as soon as my serves started being called my confidence just went because when you are giving the number two in the world point after point you just lose your confidence in your own ability and service. I was so disappointed with how I played yesterday and it was very difficult to get myself back up. I tried to regroup today although I do find her awkward but I’ve beaten her many times. I was just hesitant and I wasn’t flowing like I was when I came into the game yesterday. Win or lose I think that is what frustrates me more that I haven’t shown how well I can play. I just need to take a couple of days out now, support the rest of the team, get practicing some doubles with Megan and start again.”