2007 All News
Robertson and Emms lead Yonex Japan Open bid
OLYMPIC silver medalists Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms are in the senior England squad which returns to badminton action in Japan this week determined to make up for a disappointing World Championships.
The seven-strong squad tackle the Yonex Japan Open, the eighth of 12 Super Series events before the Masters final in December.
For Robertson and Emms it is their first competition since surrendering their world title in Kuala Lumpur last month and the fourth seeds are on course to meet 2005 and 2007 world champions and second seeds Nova Widianto and Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia in the semi-finals.
The Commonwealth champions and their team-mates, Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg, the 2006 world and 2007 Yonex All England runners-up, are fourth and fifth respectively in the Super Series rankings but need to maintain their form to remain in the top eight and a guaranteed place in the Masters just before Christmas.
Clark and Kellogg are fifth seeds and are on course to meet third seeds Xie Zhongbo and Zhang Yawen of China in the last eight in Tokyo.
Clark and Robert Blair, the 2006 world finalists in men’s doubles, are also in action in Japan while European champions and sixth seeds Emms and Kellogg tackle the women’s doubles boosted by a first-round walkover.
Emms and Kellogg, ranked ninth in the world, are well placed to put in a final push for a place in the Masters over the last five events – Japan, Denmark, France, China and Hong Kong.
In the singles Commonwealth champion Tracey Hallam will be looking to continue her climb towards the world top 10, having initially slipped down the rankings because of a six-month lay-off following ankle surgery last September.
Hallam is already back up to No 16 but in the men’s singles Andrew Smith (pictured) will be trying to get back into the top 20 after slipping down to No. 23.
But Smith has a tough start in the singles tomorrow (Wed) against Lee Hyun-ll while Hallam faces Chinese qualifier Lin Wang.
Coach Julian Robertson and physio Gordon Turner will be with the squad in Tokyo.
After the Yonex Japan Open, Clark and Blair and singles players Hallam and Smith will move on to the Yonex Chinese Taipei Open (September 18-23).
For full draws and to follow results see www.bwfsuperseries.com