Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith’s dream run at the YONEX All England 2020 continued as they completed a sensational quarterfinal win against Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet from three match points down.
Their first top-tier semifinal will therefore be at event they grew up watching.
Through the first two games the match was an absorbing affair. The Hong Kong pair went ahead 26-24 in the first game; the second too was neck-and-neck until Tang and Tse pulled away at the end, holding three match points.
Lauren Smith Steps Up
Smith’s superb defense and opportunism turned the tables on the Hongkongers at this stage, and once the England duo had the game in the bag, the match swung their way, 24-26 22-20 21-11.
“Incredible. Speechless, almost,” said Smith. “This is almost part of the dream when you play badminton in this country and when you’re younger you spot all your idols here, and to be part of it and to play here at the weekend – this is my first (top-tier) semifinals as well, so a great place to be that. So really happy and elated.”
“No matter what the situation, we always fight for every single point. And we could see in the second game, towards the end they were getting tired, so we desperately wanted to be in the third, because we knew we had the fitness and stamina to take the win, so we really dug in our heels at the end, we fought every single shot and we almost relaxed a little bit because it felt calm.”
Ellis however was denied a semifinals place in men’s doubles, as he and Chris Langridge went down in a well-contested match to Russians Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov, 21-18 11-21 21-8.
Match of the Day
While there were several close encounters, one of those that stood out was Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti’s hard-fought 15-21 21-19 21-19 result over second seeds Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping.
The Indonesians were down a game and 10-18 in the second. With their backs to the wall, Jordan and Oktavianti threw everything they had. Jordan’s ferocious assault from the back and Oktavianti’s follow-up kills gave the Chinese little to work with, as the Indonesians pocketed 11 of the last 12 points to take the match to a decider. There was no let-up in the third game either, and Jordan and Oktavianti kept their momentum to finish victors in 72 minutes.
“I was so focussed on what I had to do. You can see that from the score in the second game. I enjoyed it a lot. As you can see, I was smiling even when I lost a point. I did amazing today, I just enjoyed it. This feeling is really important and I have to keep going on,” – Carolina Marin, after beating Akane Yamaguchi 21-15 21-12.