Ellis keeps rolling as Brits make progress at All England
Badminton

Ellis keeps rolling as Brits make progress at All England

13 March 2020 / 09:12

British star Marcus Ellis continues to fight on multiple fronts at the YONEX All England after a victorious Thursday in Birmingham.

Ellis progressed to the last eight of the mixed doubles alongside Lauren Smith before repeating the feat in the men’s doubles with partner Chris Langridge.

First up was the mixed doubles, where Ellis and Smith toppled fourth seeds Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino in straight games, 21-15 21-10, in front of a jubilant Birmingham crowd.

The British pair were dominant against their Japanese opponents to book their spot in the quarter-finals, where they will take on fifth seeds Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti, of Indonesia.

It was a similar story when Ellis teamed up with Langridge to take on fifth seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto.

The Olympic bronze medallists were in confident mood from the outset and, having taken the first game 21-14, pulled clear once again in the second to win it 21-15 and seal their place in the last eight.

Ellis and Langridge will face Russian duo Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov for a spot in the men’s doubles semi-finals.

Smith, like Ellis, was also back on court later in the day, teaming up with Chloe Birch to take on number one seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan in the women’s doubles.

Smith and Birch started well against the Chinese pair, taking a 9-6 lead in the first game, but the 2017 World Championships gold medallists fought back to take it 21-16 in 20 minutes.

A decider looked likely when Smith and Birch went 14-9 up in the second game, and the British duo had two game points at 20-18.

The second of those resulted in a thrilling 59-shot rally which was won by Jia and Chen, who went on to take the set 22-20 and seal their progress into the quarter-finals.

Speaking after her victory with Ellis in the mixed doubles, Smith reflected on her delight at seeing an abundance of youngsters cheering her and her teammates on.

“It’s brilliant to see so many young faces in the crowd supporting us,” she said.

“I’m really passionate, and so is Marcus, about badminton in the UK and getting it out there and in the media, and getting people to watch.

“We want to make sure people see top-level sport so they can get role models from the sport that they want to emulate, so maybe they’ll pick up a racket.

“I feel like that’s what you see from the other top sports - in tennis, for example, people pick up a racket and do the Roger Federer backhand.

“I want people in the UK to have seen this event and think ‘I want to do the Viktor Axelsen jump smash,’ or whatever it may be - we just want to get the word out, get more people playing and raise the profile and the level of the sport in this country.

“I think the future of British badminton is heading in the right direction.”

Sportsbeat 2020