Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge became the first English men’s doubles pair in 45 years to win the DANISA Denmark Open, which they accomplished in an exciting final today in Odense against Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov.
The result could well have gone the other way. Langridge and Ellis were in trouble early in the third. Down 2-7, and appearing low on energy, something happened that galvanised Langridge. It was a comment that rang out from the gallery, something that “burned my skin”, as he later said it.
The shift in energy was immediate and effective; Langridge was again an electric presence at the net, and suddenly the momentum shifted. The Russians, who were able to win the point nearly each time the shuttle went up in the air thanks to their fierce attack, struggled to stave off the English duo at the front court. Appropriately enough, the final smash winner came from Langridge, clinching the title 20-22 21-17 21-18.
“That (comment) unleashed the demon in me, raised my level up,” said Langridge. “We were 7-2 down, we were flat, and then I could feel the adrenaline inside me popping out of my skin. Then after that my level went up ten-fold. In a way, that did help me.
“We are very pleased. I know we don’t look it because we are tired, but we are very pleased.”
The title marks the biggest title win for the England duo since the Commonwealth Games gold in 2018. It also made them the first English men’s doubles pair since David Eddy and Eddy Sutton in 1975 to win the title.
“This is a huge tournament, and to win a Super 750 is one of our biggest tournament wins. It’s going to be one of the best ones we’ve had,” said Ellis. “It’s been an amazing week, we’re just so glad to be back. That’s the main thing, obviously we are ecstatic that we won, but just to be back competing, that’s the best feeling in the world.”
Langridge dwelt on the key moment in the third game when they turned around the momentum.
“We had a bad start. It was strange. We knew what they were going to do, we said it, they did it, but we didn’t cope with it. And we went 7-2 down in a flash. It was exactly the same at the All England. And we had that pivotal moment. We managed to just about contain them, and we upped our level, and all of a sudden it was fairly close again. And as soon as you keep close to them, point to point, you have a good chance. We’re very pleased we could turn it around, which we didn’t at the All England.
“Against those guys, it’s being able to control what they’re going to bring to you. They’re lethal in attack, not so dangerous at the start of the rally, so for us to neutralise them in that part is key. If we get into the main bit of the rally we can win. So that was our tactic going in. We executed it well in parts. They’re very good players. A lot of the time they don’t let you play how you want to. It’s our first win against them, so it’s really big for us.”
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Ivanov and Sozonov rued their missed chances. The Russians knew they had the match in their grasp before it slipped away from them.
“We had a good start in the third game, but they made some good saves and we made too many mistakes. We were a bit nervous at 8-all and 9-all. After the interval in the third game their level went up. We were just not consistent today,” said Sozonov.