1200x410 Pugh Birch 2022

Chloe Birch and Jess Pugh continued their good form at the Italian International women’s doubles event by reaching the semi-finals.

The English duo showed their top-20 ranking credentials with some impressive performances, particularly in a gruelling last eight showdown with Nga Ting Yeung and Pui Lam Yeung from Hong Kong.

They eventually won out in a final set decider after well over an hour out on court, with the final score 21-15, 17-21, 21-15.

Birch also reached the final four of the mixed doubles in Austria last week, while Pugh was back at that stage of a tournament for the first time since the Orleans Masters in April.

And it looked like a first final of the season was on the cards when they won the opening game against Singapore’s Yujia Jin and Jia Ying Crystal Wong.

However, it wasn’t quite to be for the English shuttlers on this occasion, their opponents fighting back to record a 13-21, 21-13, 21-13 win to reach the final.

Birch was equally successful in the mixed doubles, producing an excellent run to the semi-finals alongside her partner Ethan van Leeuwen.

They did it the hard way with all three of their wins going the distance to a third game.

This was typified by the victory they recorded against Lee Chun Hei and Tsz Yau Ng in the last eight, coming from behind to win 14-21, 21-18, 21-16.

However, the fresher Ruttanapak Oupthong and Chasinee Korepap of Thailand, who had a walkover in the previous round due to a retirement, had too much for the English team in the semi-final and went through after a 21-17, 21-15 win.

But both Birch and van Leeuwen can be pleased with another solid run in a high-quality draw.

Elsewhere, Freya Redfearn exited the women’s singles at the first hurdle after a 21-10, 21-15 defeat to Hsiang Ti Lin, while Rory Easton and Zach Russ reached the second round of the men’s doubles.

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