US Open: ‘My Son Keeps Me Going’

“I’m just happy playing with my son. When we are on court, we fight to win but we also try to enjoy ourselves.”

A day after winning her first ever HSBC BWF World Tour match – alongside son Misha – at 65 years and two months, Svetlana Zilberman said she has no plans to quit anytime soon.

“My son’s career keeps me going. While he plays professionally, I have to help him warm up and practice. It also keeps me in good shape. As long as Misha is active on the circuit, I will be too,” said the Belarus-born Israeli after the 21-10 21-8 YONEX US Open 2023 second round mixed doubles loss to Mathias Thyrri/Amalie Magelund.

Svetlana, who has been partnering Misha since 2006 after “failing to find” him a suitable partner, finally picked up a World Tour victory, 21-17 24-22, against Canadians Daniel Zhou/Jackie Dent in the first round on Wednesday.

Last year in Tokyo, Svetlana became the oldest player to win a World Championships match when she and Misha beat Egyptians Adham Hatem Elgamal/Doha Hany in the opening round.

“If people see me as a role model, I’m flattered but it just shows there’s no age limit if you really like badminton and enjoy competing,” added Svetlana.

Misha’s men’s singles run later ended at the hands of 19-year-old Indian Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian. He lost 21-18 21-23 21-13.

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