He might be something of a late bloomer at 27 but Chris Langridge insists he is finally playing the best badminton of his career.
And, with the All England Open Championships up next, the timing could not be better for Langridge to progress deep into a tournament he has traditionally struggled in.
At the start of February he enjoyed an English National Championships to remember, taking both his first ever men’s doubles title, with Peter Mills, and first ever mixed title, with Heather Olver.
Langridge was part of the England squad that claimed bronze from the European Mixed Team Championships after the Nationals and he insists there is still more to come from him.
“I was dead pleased with my performance at the Nationals,” said Langridge. “But we went straight there to the European Mixed Team Championships so it was instantly put to the back of the mind.
“It was the first time I had won the mixed doubles and the first time I had won the men’s doubles and I hope to really push on.
“And at the All England Open I’ve never really had that good run or great result so hopefully this year that will change.
“When I was younger my badminton was at two ends of the spectrum. I would either play very well or terrible and there wasn’t that middle ground.
“But now as I have got older I have become more consistent. I was a little crazy when I was younger and I would take more risks that wouldn’t pay off but now I have learned more.”
Langridge and Mills face Maneepong Jongjit and Nipitphon Puangpuapech in the first round of the men’s doubles at the All England Open but must go through qualifying in the mixed with Olver.
They meet Ronan Labar and Laura Choinet in the first round of qualifying and, of his partnership with Olver, Langridge knows that it will take time before they really gel.
“Peter and I, over the last four or five months, we have started to play a lot better. At the start it took a bit of time to get used to each other and so it’s nice we are showing we can play well,” he added.
“We’re starting to get a bit more consistent now and hopefully keep getting the good results. Heather and I are still relatively new together.
“We are still getting used to each other and we’ve only had eight tournaments together. It is probably 12 to 14 tournaments before you start to really understand each other in the partnership and we just want to keep improving.”
© Sportsbeat 2013