Thursday, December 18, 2008

Clark and Kellogg score England’s only Masters win on Day One

ANTHONY CLARK and Donna Kellogg lost their opening group match but won their second contest on a tough day for England at the BWF Super Series Masters finals in Sabah, Malaysia.

European champions and third seeds Clark and Donna Kellogg were eged out by Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Juhl of Denmark in their group opener 13-21 21-16 21-15.

But they returned to court to score England's only day-one win by beating Thailand's sixth seeds Songphon Anugritayawan and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul 21-13 21-16 to keep alive their semi-final hopes.

Tomorrow they face eighth seeds Lhim Kim Wah and Wong Pei Tty of Malaysia in their final group match.

There was agony for Robert Blair and Scotland's Imogen Bankier, who wasted three match points in their opening contest.

The 2007 Bank of Scotland Centenary International mixed doubles champions won the opening game against fifth seeds Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam of Thailand 21-12. But the Thailand pair levelled the match at 21-14.

In the decider the Anglo-Scottish fourth seeds and World No 8 pair led 20-19, 21-20 and 22-21 before the Thailanders snatched victory with their first match point to win the deciding game 24-22.

The defeat must have left Edinburgh-born Blair and Glasgow's Bankier dispirited because in their second mixed doubles match of the day they went down to top seeds and double world champions Nova Widianto and Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia 21-9 21-7 in just 18 minutes.

It was a tough first day for Blair. He also lost his opening men's doubles with Chris Adcock, falling to Korean third seeds Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae 21-17 12-21 21-11 and must win both doubles matches tomorrow to have chance of progressing into the semi-finals.

Blair and Adcock face second seeds Latif and Tazari of Malaysia and seventh seeds Anders Kristiansen and Simon Mollyhus of Denmark. On top of that Blair and Bankier take on Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa in the mixed as Blair faces three matches for the second day running.

In the men's singles England No 1 Andrew Smith went down to Joachim Persson of Denmark 21-14 14-21 21-12 and, despite another battling display in his second match, fell to second seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia 21-12 22-24 21-12.

Tomorrow Smith faces Taufik Hidayat, the former world and 2004 Olympic champion from Indonesia.

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