ALL ENGLAND 2013 Day 1 – A host of home favourites reach main draw

Gabby White joined partner and fiancé Chris Adcock in the main draw as she qualified in both mixed and doubles, to join Adcock who also qualified for his second discipline […]

Gabby White joined partner and fiancé Chris Adcock in the main draw as she qualified in both mixed and doubles, to join Adcock who also qualified for his second discipline on a day when the UK contingent shined.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from Birmingham.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live).

In one of the more promising matches of the qualifiers, the new home pair Chris Adcock and Gabby White (pictured right) blew away their Russian opponents Ivanov and Sorokina in just 27 minutes to reach the main draw, only a minute more than in their first round match against Schwenger / Nelte. A nervous start by the Russians let the English pair race to a 10-0 lead before they dropped a point, and the going did not change as Adcock powerfully smashed them to the game, 21-8.

The Russians showed more fight in the second, recovering from 11-4 down but ultimately the English pair, with White growing in confidence at the net, were too solid taking the second 21-17 to seal themselves the unenviable match up in the main draw against world number 1 pair Xu Chen / Ma Jin.

Chris spoke after the match of their recent good form, “We need to build our ranking further. They [Ivanov / Sorokina] are world class players and we had to work hard in both games.” His partner Gabrielle White said, “We came out and played one of the best games of badminton we have ever played so we’re really pleased. We have no pressure, we’ve got the world number ones next but that’s how it goes.”

Chris’s old partner Imogen Bankier (pictured left) proceeded to the next round with her women’s partner Petya Nedelcheva (Bulgaria) with two comfortable straight sets victories. Another Scot playing with an overseas partner, Robert Blair partnering Tan Bin Shen, also made the main draw. Bouncing back from a tough three-end victory against English pair Coles / Nottingham, they easily overcame Dierickx / Golinski of Belgium with an assured 21-12, 21-10.

Some of the last matches on court saw yet more home chances through in a bumper year as Gabby White also qualified for the women’s doubles with Lauren Smith. They played a solid match, and in the second end the English pair opened up, hitting heavy smashes to pass the Indians 21-13, 21-13.

The day was not over there however as Marcus Ellis and Paul Van Rietvelde (pictured right) fought long and hard against Koreans Kang Ji Wook and Lee Sang Joon in the tightest of matches. On court for over an hour, the match went the distance as the English / Scottish pair held their nerve having led much of the latter stages of the third game, to come through 21-19, 18-21, 22-20.

Other progressions of note saw another Chen added to the men’s singles main draw as Chinese player Chen Yuekun recovered from a slow start against Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif, who was himself seeded second in qualification, the winning score eventually 16-21 21-16 21-14.

Thai player Bodin Issara who impressed at the Olympics playing with Maneepong Jongjit, overcame two Indian challenges in qualification to proceed to day 2 with new partner Pakkawat Vilailak, the pair not on court for more than 50 playing minutes in the two games.

The full results for the day can be found here.

If you are coming for the Championships, or whenever you visit Birmingham, try Badzine’s partner hotel, the City Nites Apartments. Offering fully serviced apartments, it is a stylish setting for long or short-term business people and visitors, and a great place to stay during the All England Championships.

CLICK HERE to make a reservation at the City Nites.

About Michael Burke