England’s leading badminton pair, Chris and Gabby Adcock, surged into their second successive semi-final at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships today after a world class performance knocked out reigning Olympic champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir from Indonesia.
And the world number seven pair will be backed by a record crowd later today (Saturday) at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham when they play for a place in Sunday’s prestigious final.
Today’s scintillating quarter-final saw the Adcocks prevail 16-21, 21-19, 21-12 in a comeback win that delighted a vocal home support.
In what was their third successive quarter-final match with the three-time YONEX All England champions, the Adcocks could do little to prevent their second seeded opponents from taking the first game.
But with a euphoric English crowd behind them, the home favourites demonstrated their world class ability in the second to level the scores, before taking full control in the decider to sail through to the last four.
The key learning curve here is how great we were under pressure,” said Chris.
“They are the best pair in the world and were the Olympic champions just a few months ago – we could have folded and gone home tonight but we showed real resilience”.
Gabby added: “The crowd played such a big part today, I really noticed there was quite a few cheers, some passionate ones, and it really made us relax.
“We’re at home, we’re playing in front of everybody who is desperate for us to win, and it made such an impact.”
In Saturday’s semi-final, the Adcocks face fifth seeds Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong of China as they look to reach their maiden YONEX All England final.
The last meeting between the two pairs, at December’s Dubai World Superseries Finals, saw the Adcocks triumph in straight games.“It’s going to be very tough, any Chinese pair is tough,” said Chris.
“They’re ranked fifth in the world so it will be difficult, but hopefully us playing a bit better with that resilience we showed today shows we’ve got enough to win.
“The mixed doubles is anyone’s game now, there are some great pairs left in so hopefully we can be there on Sunday”.
Report courtesy of Badminton England