Adcocks semis defeat a bitter pill to swallow

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Ravenshead ace Chris Adcock admitted his dramatic YONEX All England Open Badminton Championship semi-final defeat yesterday was a bitter pill to swallow.

Chris and wife Gabby got off to a disappointing start against fifth seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen as they trailed 11-4 at the midway point of the first game at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena.

And while they clawed it back to 10-12 at one point, they ended up losing the opener 21-13.

The English pairing have never beaten the Danes but they looked set to take it to a final set as they led 20-15 and were then awarded the winning point, only for it to be overturned on appeal.

And Nielsen and Pedersen produced a remarkable comeback to book their place in Sunday’s final with a 21-13, 22-20 win.

Chris said: “It is very tough to take. We did not impose our style on them and they came out very solid.

“We found our grove and were dominating the whole of the second set so to let four set points go like that, is really hard to take.

“We always learn from every win or loss. It is tough to know what we will learn from it at the minute but we will go back and make sure we put right what went wrong.

“The slow start cost us. We had made great starts in every round up until this point which is disappointing but there are definitely things that we can learn from it – and that is one of the exciting things about where we are right now: we are up there but we are far from finished players because we have so much more to learn and so much more to improve.

“It is difficult to see that now but we will take our time, look back at the video and take what we can from it.”

But it was still a hugely successful tournament for the Adcocks as their victory over the world’s number two duo Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir on Friday meant they were the first Brits to reach the semi-final of the YONEX All England since 2008.

The Adcocks also created history in December by becoming the first British players to win a title at the end-of-year World Superseries Finals and with the duo seventh in the world, they are closing in on qualification for the Rio Olympics.

Chris added: “We have got to another semi-final, we have beaten the world number two pair and we know we are in there with a shout (of qualifying for Rio) but we have not really been thinking about qualification points too much.

“We have been focussing on performances and we have put some in this week. It is just a shame that we put in a good performance in that first set and we let it slip.”

You can watch the world’s best players at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena from 8-13 March. For tickets visit allenglandbadminton.com