Adcocks fall agonisingly short of YONEX All England final

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Ravenshead pair Chris and Gabby Adcock fell to an agonising defeat at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships today as Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark advanced to Sunday’s mixed doubles final.

In front of a sell out Barclaycard Arena, the married couple and world number seven pair looked set to take the match into a decider but the Danish fifth seeds saved five game points in the second before winning 21-13, 22-20.

“It is hard to take right now,” said Chris. “We found our game and dominated the second but we are gutted that we couldn’t push on.”

Gabby added: “It’s a sore feeling right now. I felt like I was reading her flicks but she changed and made it more deceptive. It’s frustrating but all credit to them.”

Having beaten Indonesian rivals and former champions Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad in the last eight, the Adcocks’ confidence had been boosted significantly as they reached the last four for the first time.

The Superseries Finals’ champions had lost in their previous two meetings with Nielsen and Pedersen. Both pairs had yet to drop a set this week, yet the English number one’s had grown in confidence and stature through the rounds.

At 19-11 up in the second, a decider beckoned but the Danes edged back and soon levelled.

They won the match with the rally of the contest, the shuttle going to all corners before the Danes fell flat on their backs as they secured their place in the final.

“The slow start cost us, but there are things to improve on,” Gabby admitted. “We are far from finished players and we’ve beaten the best. We are aged 25 and 26 and have a lot of experience in the bank already.”

Neilsen and Pedersen, aiming to win Denmark’s first mixed title since 1995, said: “We’ve watched the All England on television back home for as long as I can remember. It means a lot to reach the final as we’ve tried for many years.”