Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Smith through to All England second round for first time

Jenny Wallwork and Gabby White recorded England's first win on day two of the 99th Yonex All England Badminton Championships 2009.

And Andrew Smith came from behind against Chetan Anand in the men's singles to book a second-round clash with former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat.

The Yorkshire pair gave a magnificent display to beat their Malaysian opponents Liu Ying Goh and Hui Lin Ng 19-21 21-17 22-20.

The turning point in the match was in the second game as the English pair found themselves 7-13 down. A run of eight straight points then gave them a 15-13 lead, as they went on to level the match.

Although squandering two match points in the third, they took the contest at the third attempt in what was a hard-fought, deserved victory.

Smith got off to a slow start in his match, losing the first game 21-6 before hitting back hard to beat Anand 21-17 21-12 and claim a place in the second round for the first time.

Smith said: "I hadn't played much since Friday at the German tournament so it took a bit of time to get into it.

"I didn't start very well but I slowly got into it. I was playing too slow and had to speed up my game."

But there were some disappointments on the second day of the Championships, particularly the withdrawal of British Olympic star Nathan Robertson through illness.

He was struck down by a virus, forcing him and Anthony Clark, the eighth seeds, to withdraw from the men’s doubles. It also denied fans the chance to see Robertson take on Clark in the mixed doubles in what would have been the match of the day.

Fourth seeds Clark and Donna Kellogg received a walkover into the second round where they could meet Chris Adcock and Gabby White if the teenagers win their opening match.

Men’s doubles pairing Chris Langridge and David Lindley battled well with Holland’s Jorrit De Ruiter and Jurgen Wouters but went down 21-14, 12-21,
22-20 on the third match point.

Nicola Cerfontyne and Rachel Howard had the difficult task of taking on fourth seeds and Olympic champions Du Jing and Yu Yang of China in the women’s doubles. The Chinese proved too much for the English pairing as they were comprehensively beaten 21-7, 21-7.

Another disappointment, this time in the men’s doubles, saw Super Series Masters finalists Chris Adcock and Robert Blair lose out to Denmark’s Anders Kristiansen and Simon Mollyhus 19-21 21-17 21-12.

Richard Eidestedt and Andrew Ellis put up one of the performances of the day despite losing to 2007 champions Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong 15-21 21-7 21-19.

Anglo-Scottish women’s doubles pairing Mariana Agathangelou and Imogen Bankier failed to produce a win to lift the home fans, as they went down 21-17 21-16 to China’s Pan Pan and Qing Tian.