Huddersfield’s Marcus Ellis one win away from England final

JUST one win stands between Marcus Ellis and the YONEX All England Final after he and Lauren Smith battled their way to semi-final Saturday.

Huddersfield's Marcus Ellis in action gainst Denmark's Mikkel Mikkelsen and Rikke Soby. Pictures: PA

The mixed doubles pair reached the last four in Birmingham last year and repeated the trick thanks to a 22-20 21-19 win over Mikkel Mikkelsen and Rikke Soby.

But while last year’s semi-final run was extraordinary, the 2021 efforts come with expectation. And it’s a position of confidence they’re both relishing.

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“We knew coming here that we had a good opportunity to make the latter stages. But you have to step out in every game and do the business,” said Huddersfield’s Ellis.

Huddersfield's Marcus Ellis.

“It’s never easy, we have to be very proud of ourselves with the way we stuck in.

“Last year, the semi-finals was a moment we’ll both cherish for so many reasons.

“It was a fantastic game and to have the crowd behind us was unlike anything we’ve had before.”

Greater challenges await the English pair with second seeds Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino across the net.

Marcus Ellis (right) and Lauren Smith celebrate during their match against Denmark's Mikkel Mikkelsen and Rikke Soby.

But with a played one, won one, head-to-head record to date, fear is being replaced with optimism.

Ellis added: “This tournament is wide open and that’s what we have to take forward, not being scared of anybody.

“We know, when we play our best, we can beat them. It’s just a case of going out there and doing it.

“We’re playing a pair who, on paper, should beat us. So we can just get stuck into them, and we’ll hopefully see a better performance.”

It wasn’t to be for Ellis in the men’s doubles, however, with he and Chris Langridge losing out in the quarter-finals.

*Following a tough year for everyone, the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships marks the first step in inspiring people to get back on court as soon as they can. For more information for the badminton community, visit https://www.badmintonengland.co.uk/return-to-play/

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