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Annie Lado and Rory Easton powered to the finals of the mixed doubles at the Decathlon Perfly Italian International before tasting defeat in Milan.

The pair had enjoyed some tight tussles en route to the showpiece before coming undone against second-seeded Danish pair Jesper Toft and Clara Graversen.

Alongside Zach Russ, Easton also reached the semi-finals in the men’s doubles while Lado was also involved in the women’s doubles as she joined up with Grace King to reach the second round.

In the mixed doubles, the fifth seeds of Lado and Easton started the tournament with a narrow win over Germany’s Johannes Pistorius and Emma Moszczynski.

The pair traded the lead several times in the opening game as Lado and Easton took it 22-20 before the Germans fought back in the second to claim it 21-16 but the English duo were utterly dominant in the final game, winning 21-12 to advance.

Easton and Lado had a more routine win in their next round defeating Volodymyr Koluzaiev and Tetyana Potapenko of Ukraine 21-15 21-6, before enduring another tight tussle with Denmark’s Jacob Hougaard and Frederikke Ostergaard as they fought back to win the quarter-final 20-22 21-13 21-18.

The pair were back to their dominant ways as they overcame seventh seeds Lev Barinov and Anastasiia Boiarun of Russia 21-12 21-11, then falling just short of the title, losing 21-19 21-16 in the final, conceding the lead late on in the first game before Toft and Graversen pulled away in the second to secure the win.

Easton had also reached the semi-finals of the men’s doubles alongside Russ, where they faced fourth seeds William Kryger Boe and Christian Faust Kjaer.

Another Danish pairing and another unlucky loss as the English duo triumphed in the first game before two tight games went the distance with the Danes doing just enough to win 15-21 24-22 22-20.

The top seeds had enjoyed straight games victories on their way to the semi-final, including Easton recording a second win over Russia’s Barinov, partnered by Nikolai Ukk, in the quarter-finals as they came through 21-15, 21-16.

Lado and King took on Lucie Amiguet and Vera Appenzeller of Switzerland in the first round of the women’s doubles, losing the first game before powering to a 19-21 21-11 21-5 win in 44 minutes.

Their charge was ended in the next round however, as they came up against seventh seeds Annabella Jaeger and Leona Michalski of Germany.

Jaeger and Michalski took the lead and never relinquished it in the first game before King and Lado mounted a comeback in the second, but it was not enough to avoid defeat as the Germans won 21-11 20-22 21-8.

There was no English representation in the main draws of the singles events with Cholan Kayan, Ben Hunt and Rohan Midha all falling in men’s singles qualifying in Milan.

o   The YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships return to Utilita Arena Birmingham with the best players from around the world from 16th – 20th March 2022.

o   Don’t miss out, get your tickets today.

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