Singapore Open: En Route to Fast Lane

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy are fast becoming world No.1s Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto’s bogey pair.

In the Singapore Open 2023 first round today, the Englishmen took down the top seeds in straight games, winning 21-15 21-18 in 42 minutes. It was Alfian/Ardianto’s third overall loss to the world No.18s. In the last seven months, no pair have inflicted more defeats on the Indonesians.

Lane and Vendy, however, are not too interested in the numbers game.

Lane said: “I don’t think we’ve got anything on them. We’ve just been playing well for a few months now and had lots of close matches, especially at the Thailand Open. It’s nice to now pull through one of them. Credit to us for playing well and sticking to the gameplan.”

In recent months, Lane and Vendy had fallen just short in many battles. Only last week in Bangkok, they went down 18-21 21-11 19-21 to eventual champions Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang. Lane believes the friendship he shares off the court with Vendy can soon turn those marginal losses to victories.

Lane and Vendy have a 3-1 head-to-head record against Alfian/Ardianto.

“It’s quite good we are great friends and managed to stay together, because we can get over those close matches quite quickly, get back to what we were working on and focus on the long term goals,” said Lane.

Vendy added: “The important thing is not getting too disheartened when you are losing these close matches, because it’s inevitable. You are going to lose matches close, you’re going to win matches close but it’s just the ones you lose you always remember. It’s all about getting them out of the system fast (and moving on).”

For a tandem that have beaten many of the world’s best pairs in the last 10 months, including Liang/Wang and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, reaching the consistency level required to be dining at the top table is naturally the next step.

“That’s what we are working towards every single day at home and when we are away. We ask our coaches what we can do to be more consistent,” said Lane.

Convinced they are entering the prime period of their careers, Lane and Vendy still harbour hopes of becoming the planet’s No.1 pair.

“That’s always the target, to be the best in the world. Working towards that,” enthused Vendy.

Lane and Vendy play M.R Arjun/Dhruv Kapila in the second round. The Indians won their last duel two years ago in the Denmark Open first round.

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