Ellis and Smith shine on opening day of All England Championships

It was a mixed opening day for Britain's badminton stars at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships in The Arena Birmingham.

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith kept hopes alive going into day two of the tournament with the pair tasting victory in the mixed doubles event, as well as in their respective ties in the men's and women's doubles later in the day. Things were less successful for Gabby and Chris Adcock though, who battled until the end in their opening round clash, but ultimately couldn't salvage a victory.  Ellis and Smith got the day off to the perfect start for the home favourites, as the English pair defeated Wakana Nagahara and Takuro Hoki of Japan in the mixed doubles.

The pair wrapped the match up in straight sets, as they progressed into the last 16 with a 21-9 21-15 victory in a little over 35 minutes.

After an equal start to the first set, the English duo managed to get themselves a healthy lead, before winning five straight points from 16-9 to take the early advantage.

Their dominance continued into the second set, and although the Japanese couple put up more of a fight, Ellis and Smith’s progression never looked to be in doubt as they progress to the next round.

Ellis was back on court later in the day in the men’s doubles event with partner Chris Langridge, and the 30-year-old made it two wins for the day as they overcame Chinese pair Di Zi Jian and Chang Wang.

The first set looked to be in the balance with the scores at 18-18, but three consecutive points for Ellis and Langridge saw them take the lead, before their opponents hit back by taking the second set 21-13.

But after twice having their lead pegged back in the third, a run of five straight points set them up for a place in the last 16 where they will face Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia.

Gabby and Chris Adcock came up short in their opening round clash in the mixed doubles, as they failed to overcome the Indonesian pairing of Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.

The pair were as far as 14-8 down in the first set, before an astonishing run of seven straight points saw them come back into the contest, only to eventually go down 21-19.

The second set was every bit as tense as the first, with the Adcocks the ones to take the lead this time, and they kept hold of a slender advantage throughout to secure a 21-17 success and send it to a decider.

Another slow start in the third saw the English pair trailing once again at the switch of ends, but this time there was to be no comeback, as the Indonesians saw the match out with a 21-14 score line in the final set.

There was also success in the women’s doubles event as Smith claimed victory again with partner Chloe Birch, as they comfortably came through their tie with German duo Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich 21-18, 21-14.

Things weren’t as straight forward for Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in the men’s doubles, as the English pairing went down in straight sets to Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe of Japan.

The Japanese pair proved why they were sixth seeds going into the event, as they progressed into the next round with a 21-14, 21-12 victory over Lane and Vendy, who were making their first appearance at the event.

Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour also went out at the first hurdle in Birmingham, as the only British hope in the singles events went down 21-10, 21-16 to seventh seed He Bing Jao of China.

There was also a disappointing end for fellow women’s doubles pairing Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams, who lasted just nine points against Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy of India before retiring.  Sportsbeat 2020