2013 All News
"Anything can happen at the Nationals" says badminton star Langley
Center Parcs – supported Team England badminton star Alex Langley admits her English National Badminton Championships preparation could have been smoother – but she is still aiming high all the same.
The 21-year-old had been hoping to get some time on court with new doubles partner Jenny Wallwork ahead of the Championships in Manchester next weekend (1-3 February), only for Wallworks's back and ankle injuries to hinder the amount of court time they have been able to enjoy.
None the less Langley will be looking to make some strides in the women's doubles event and will focus on her assault for a national title alongside mixed doubles partner, Matthew Nottingham.
And whatever happens, the only way is up for the duo after last year's straight sets round one exit to Gary Fox and Samantha Ward.
Langley, who won an U19 national doubles crown in 2010, insists that although her and Wallwork are missed an opportunity to gel, she is keen to make up for that in Manchester.
" I think we could still be contenders in the women's doubles, but Jenny's injury has thrown it up in the air a little bit," she said.
"So now my main focus is going to be on the mixed doubles with Matt, because we will have had a bigger build up to that.
"We still haven't peaked yet, and we are still learning off one another, so we'll see how we can do.
"If we get it together, who knows what can happen? We'll just have to see.
"We have to be confident in our ability – we know what we can do and that is win matches and I think our constant improvement is encouraging."
The English National Championships also provides the country's top badminton players with the chance to steal a march on their domestic rivals as they battle it out for bragging rights.
And Langley is keen to take that chance before turning her attentions on her international rivals shortly afterwards.
"We all want to be better than each other in Milton Keynes and obviously the Nationals is one big step towards doing that," she added.
"But then on top of that we want to be beating other nations in the world and so there's a real drive to kick on and keep improving.
"At tournaments, we want to make sure everyone else is afraid of us on court and so we've been working hard on our game, but we know everyone else is working hard too so it's always difficult."