Ravenshead’s Chris and Gabby Adcock, England’s last hopes at badminton’s Li-Ning BWF World Championships, saw their medal hopes dashed when they opened the last 16 programme at Copenhagen’s Ballerup Super Arena this afternoon.
The Commonwealth Games mixed doubles winners went down 21-16 26-24 against China’s Cheng Liu and Yixin Bao after a 46-minute duel despite, saving six match points in the second game and holding a game point at 24-23.
The fourth seeds went into the match with a 3-0 record against the No.14 seeds and that included their first BWF Superseries title at the Hong Kong Open last November.
Today it was a different story, despite the Adcocks leading in the early stages of the opening game. But from 9-7 they saw the Chinese pair put together a run of six points to move 13-9 ahead. Although the Adcocks recovered to stand level at 16-16, another five-point burst secured the first game for their opponents.
The Chinese dominated from the start of the second and looked home and dry when they led 19-12. But a bit of complacency set in and the Adcocks chipped away at the lead to be level at 20-20 and even hold game point at 24-23.
However, either side of that Liu and Bao forced them to save six match points, and when a seventh came along they finally took the match 26-24.
Chris, who had been aiming to add to his World silver medal from 2011 at Wembley said: “We didn’t play very well. We didn’t perform to our best.
“We put pressure on ourselves to play well at big events but unfortunately we did not perform well enough today.”
In an equally honest assessment Gabby admitted: “We were well below par today. We played terribly but almost managed to take that second set. Against a pair like that we can’t afford to play that poorly.
“We haven’t had the ideal preparation but that’s no excuse. We felt confident going into this tournament after doing so well at the Commonwealths. We were fine physically but it’s quite difficult mentally.”
Chris Adcock and Andy Ellis had a day earlier suffered a second-round exit in the men’s doubles when the 14th seeds went down 18-21 21-17 21-15 in 58 minutes against strong Japanese pair Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda, who are ranked just five places below them at world number 17.
England’s Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Chris Langridge and Southwells’ Peter Mills followed them out of the Championships, losing 21-14 21-11 to number eight seeds Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan.
Adcock and Ellis took the first game but the Japanese turned the tables in the second.
Kamura and Sonoda were never behind in the decider but Adcock and Ellis recovered from 12-8 down to draw level at 14-14 only for Adcock to net his serve and then the Japanese gained a lucky net cord to go 16-14 up before making the final surge for victory.
Adcock said: “We got level with them at 14-14 but they had the run of the next cord at quite a big point.
“We have lost to a pretty good pair there. They put us under a lot of pressure and we didn’t handle it well today.”
Langridge and Mills were always behind in the first game against the 2013 All England winners and although they led in the early stages of the second the Chinese pair pulled away from 6-6.
Mills said: “We’ve lost today but we’ve not brought the level we know we can bring. We have lost comfortably.
“They were better than us today but if we bring our top level then we can compete with them. They were very solid and didn’t give us much but we made a lot of mistakes.”
For all today’s results go to www.tournamentsoftware.com