The distraction of watching a former teammate plot their defeat was set aside, and Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen completed a morale-boosting victory to enter the quarterfinals of the YONEX All England on Thursday.
Not only did the Danes have to contend with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, they were conscious of the inputs of Mathias Boe, who had recently taken charge as doubles coach of the Indian team. The Indians put up a feisty challenge, winning the second game with plenty to spare and even leading briefly in the third. They couldn’t quite keep things tight at the end, and Astrup and Rasmussen celebrated their entry into the quarterfinals with a 21-16 11-21 21-17 result.
“We could hear him (Boe) a little bit more than at the Swiss Open but he wasn’t annoying. He was in the match as much as we were. He didn’t affect us in any way. It was a great game – a very mental game for all of us on court today,” said Astrup.
“I think all the way in the third game we spoke after each rally – what was good and what went wrong and what to do next. They made a few easy mistakes at the end and I was really nervous on my serve but it made it better when they made some errors. Our spirit and motivation on court gave us those extra points and I’m really happy about that,” added his partner Rasmussen.
The Danes next face French brothers Toma Junior Popov and Christo Popov.
Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Juwon Opeyori were expected to be no match for Thailand’s Nipitphon Phuangpuapet and Tanupat Viriangkura, but the Nigerians proved they were no pushovers, and even taking a game off them. The Thais eventually won in three games, 21-19 17-21 21-8.
“We are still not used to playing in such a hall. We did great; we were not expecting this performance; we didn’t know we were this good. If we continue at this level, we’ll be able to beat higher-ranked opponents and be at the same level as them,” said Opeyori.
Third seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda eased past compatriots Akira Koga/Taichi Saito and will next face Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge.