It was a day of highs and lows for the British stars at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, as the tournament reached the quarter-final stage in Birmingham.
Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith got the day off to the perfect start, as the duo progressed to the semi-finals in the mixed doubles, overcoming Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong in an epic last eight clash.
The two teams were neck and neck for the majority of the first game, with Tang and Tse eventually coming out 26-24 victors before a second game that had all on the edge of their seats.
The writing looked to be on the wall for the British pair as their opponents got themselves 20-16 ahead, needing just one more point for a spot in the final four.
But Ellis and Smith continued to rally, and dragged themselves back into the contest with six straight points to leave them rejuvenated heading into the decider.
Coming so close to victory without prevailing seemed to affect Tang and Tse, who couldn’t rediscover their form in the third game as Ellis and Smith wrapped up the victory with a 21-11 score line.
Ellis was back in action later in the day as he teamed up with Chris Langridge in the last eight of the men’s doubles event, with nail-biting action seemingly the order of the day at Arena Birmingham.
Standing in between them and a place in the semi-finals was Russian duo Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov, who seized the initiative early in the tie.
Despite the first game appearing tight, the Russians always had the upper hand, and took a 21-18 victory with little trouble to take an early advantage.
That setback only seemed to fire Ellis and Langridge up and they came out a different beast in the second, motoring into a healthy lead with the minimum of fuss before seeing the game out 21-11.
The day’s action seemed to catch up with Ellis in the third though, as he and Langridge had no answer for their opponent’s relentless attacks, eventually going down 21-8 to head out of the competition.
Ellis and Smith will resume their campaign on Saturday where they will face Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesia for a place in the final.