26 May, 2023
Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith picked up their first wins on the BWF Tour this season as the mixed doubles pairing reached the last eight of the PERODUA Malaysia Masters.
There had been some encouraging signs for Ellis and Smith at the Sudirman Cup last week, and the pairing translated that into two wins in Kuala Lumpur.
Ellis and Smith were up against Denmark’s Mathias Thyrri and Amalie Magelund on Wednesday, in what was a first meeting between the pairings.
The Danish duo got off to the slightly better start but the English stars battled back, and ultimately edged their way to an impressive 19-21 21-19 21-17 victory in round one.
It was their first win together since the European Mixed Team Championships in February, and a first BWF Tour victory since Ellis made his return from hip surgery.
Up next were Scotland’s Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson, who had been promoted into the draw following the withdrawal of top seeds Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino – and had proceeded to win their first-round match.
This was the third meeting between the two pairings this year, with Hall and MacPherson prevailing in a three-game tussle when they last met in Orleans.
However, on this occasion it was Ellis and Smith who had the upper hand, controlling the contest and impressing in a 21-16 21-14 triumph.
And they did it! 💪🏼
First win since Marcus Ellis got back from his hip surgery! Look how much it means to him Stay strong guys!
They will face Adam Hall/ Julie Macpherson 🏴 tomorrow. https://t.co/b4QJK2EQkj pic.twitter.com/1ffTnHIq9d
— Badminton England (@BadmintonEnglnd) May 24, 2023
Another unseeded pairing in the form Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran waited in the last eight, the Thai pairing having not dropped a game in their opening two contests.
The English pairing started strongly, but Jomkoh and Paewsampran wrestled their way back into the contest and dominated the closing stages, winning 10-21 21-19 21-1 to reach the last four.
Defeat won’t have been easy for Ellis and Smith but there are certainly positives for them to take, with a run to the quarter-finals kickstarting their journey to Olympic qualification.
Elsewhere, Smith was in women’s doubles action alongside Chloe Birch.
Smith and Birch were handed a tough opening round draw against Rena Miyaura and Ayako Sakuramoto and the Japanese were ultimately too consistent, claiming a 21-12 21-8 victory.
Ben Lane and Sean Vendy were in men’s doubles action, and were up against Fang-Chih Lee and Fang-Jen Lee following the withdrawal of initial round one opponents Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.
And it was the Chinese Taipei pairing who had the upper hand after a tough opening game, battling their way to a 23-21 21-18 victory.
Players will now head to Bangkok for the TOYOTA GAZOO RACING Thailand Open 2023, which starts next Tuesday.
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