Badminton: Adcock sets sights on semi-finals

Gabby and Chris Adcock
Gabby and Chris Adcock
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THE BUILD-UP is over for Leeds’ Gabby Adcock – next week’s Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships is the tournament she’s been waiting for since the turn of the year.

With two English National Badminton Championships titles under her belt in February, her sights are now squarely fixed on success at the All England in Birmingham, starting Tuesday March 4.

But the road to victory is as tough as it gets, with she and husband Chris due to come up against World No.1 duo Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei in the quarter-finals.

It is a similar situation in the women’s doubles, Adcock and partner Lauren Smith facing an almighty battle first up in Dutch pairing Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek – who have won five tournaments since November.

However, every clash is a challenge at such a prestigious event and an in-form Adcock is not putting any limit on how far she can go.

“The main focus of ours is the All England and during this tournament block that is our main goal,” she said. “And I believe that if we play as well as we have been playing then we can upset a few of the favourites. It will be very tough and there are no easy rounds in a Super Series, every single round from the first one is hard but I do believe we could hit a semi-final. There is no shame in losing in the first round because every pair that has qualified for the all England is very good but we believe we can go much further.”

Adcock is no stranger to Super Series success after Chris and her became only the second English pairing in history to win at the level in Hong Kong last November.

They beat Nan and Yunlei at the semi-final stage that time and now challenging for honours at the very pinnacle of the game, the 23-year-old insists any partnership is beatable.

“Now when you’re up there at the top it’s the fine margins, it’s not a massive area that we need to improve on as we’ve got a solid overall game,” she added.

“Keep bridging that gap, beating the top seeds, I’m definitely confident we can do that.”

Tickets for the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at the NIA in Birmingham are available at www.allenglandbadminton.com or call the box office on 0844 444 9994.