Tuesday, February 24, 2009

England players in final warm-up for Birmingham

WHILE Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark start the countdown to their mixed doubles first-round showdown at next week's Yonex All England Championships, England's singles players head for Mulheim and last-minute tournament practice by tackling the Yonex German Open.

Two-time English National champion Rajiv Ouseph and this year's runner-up Carl Baxter are both in tomorrow's men's singles first round along with fifth seed Andrew Smith while Jamie Bonsels and Harry Wright tackle tomorrow's qualifying rounds.

Smith starts his bid against Canadian David Snider with Anand Pawar of India or Malaysian Daren Liew the second-round opponent.

Ouseph has a tough opener against eighth seed Dicky Palyama of Holland while Baxter meets a qualifier in a 64-man first round.

In the women's singles Sarah Walker must qualify but three-times National champion Elizabeth Cann meets Denmark's Nanna Brosolat Jensen. British squad rival Susan Hughes has an even tougher clash against Dutch No 2 Judith Meulendijks.

China have top seeds in both singles through Bao Chunlai and Zhu Lin.

But England are top seeds in the men's doubles in the shape of Richard Eidestedt and Andrew Ellis with Chris Adcock and Robert Blair the second seeds. Blair and Adcock are on course for an all-English second round clash with Chris Langridge and David Lindley if both pairs win their openers.

In the mixed doubles Sarah Bok and Gabby White have been unlucky to draw top seeded Koreans Lee Hyo Jung and Lee Kyung Won, the Yonex All England champions from Korea in the first round.

Mariana Agathangelou and Scotland's Jillie Cooper start against a qualifier - but a win will pit them against the Koreans or their GB training partners in the second round!

Robin Middleton and Agathangelou are third seeds in the mixed doubles qualifying and Andrew Ellis and Bok are in qualifying action with them today.

In the main draw Adcock and White are sixth seeds and start against Jorrit de Ruiter and Ilse Vaessen of Holland. But their big test lies in the quarter-finals when they could run into top seeds and Olympic champions Lee Yong Dae and Lee Hyo Jung.

England also have third seeds David Lindley and Suzanne Rayappan in the bottom half of the draw where they start against Indonesia's Flandy Limpele and Russia's Anastasia Russkikh. Langridge and Cooper open against a qualifer.