It was a disappointing start to 2020 for England’s top shuttlers at the Malaysia Masters as both pairs involved suffered first round defeats. Chris and Gabby Adcock, the world number 12 ranked couple, suffered a narrow loss in the mixed doubles as they were beaten 22-20 19-21 12-21 by Korean qualifiers Sung Hyun Ko and Hye Won Eom. Meanwhile, Ben Lane and Sean Vendy, the 31st ranked men’s doubles pairing, were knocked out by Taiwan’s Min Chun Liao and Ching Heng Su 16-21 18-21. F

or the Adcocks the defeat was especially disappointing as they had fought their way to a hard-earned first game. With Gabby proving particularly strong at the net and Chris’ powerful smashes working to good effect, the English duo claimed the opening game. It then looked like the Adcocks would go on to win the match, coming within two points of doing so at 19-17 up. But the Korean pairing fought back with four straight points to take the match into a decider.

And the final game was a nail-biting affair with the points shared evenly until the change of ends when Ko and Eom found an extra gear to eventually take the victory. Lane and Vendy, though, were unable to claim a game as they were narrowly edged by the world number 16 Taiwanese pairing. It took 40 minutes for the match to be decided with Liao and Su proving too strong in the first game. The English duo fought back in the second game, taking a 9-6 lead before being overwhelmed by four straight points as Lane and Vendy bowed out.

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