England sensationally reached the last four of the Commonwealth Games mixed team event with a 3-0 sweep over Canada in Birmingham.
Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith put Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Singapore behind them, to bounce back in style with a straight sets win in the mixed doubles.
The victory proved the perfect foundations to help England progress to the next round, where they will face Malaysia.
Ellis admitted his confidence was knocked from the duo’s defeat during Saturday’s loss to Singapore, but showed little sign of it to cruise past Ty Lindeman and Josephine Wu 21-12, 21-9 alongside Smith.
“After yesterday, our confidence took a bit of battering because it was quite a comfortable loss and we weren’t expecting that,” said Ellis.
“So today, to come out and do that against a strong Canadian team, it’s only a positive thing.
“We knew we could play a lot better than we did yesterday and I think we were very disappointed personally in our performances.
“To get another chance today, to come out and show people the positive side – we’re very happy with it.”
Their superb opening rubber win was backed up by men’s singles shuttler Toby Penty, who secured a hard fought win over Brian Young, 21-19, 21-19, which put England firmly in the driving seat.
Penty had looked to be cruising through in the second game but Yang launched a mini-comeback, saving three match points before the Chertsey shuttler finished the job to huge roars in the stands.
After the win he thanked the raucous Birmingham crowd.
“I needed it,” admitted Penty on the crowd’s support. “I was going through a few scenarios and just trying to stay calm.
“I’ve definitely had those positions before and it’s gone the other way so it’s nice to actually get over the line this time.”
It was then left to Sean Vendy and Ben Lane to wrap up the quarter-final in style, and they duly delivered with a 21-17, 21-12 men’s doubles success over Adam Dong and Nyl Yakura.
That meant both Freya Patel-Redfearn and Chloe Birch progressed without having to pick up their rackets on Sunday and the pair, as well as Callum Hemming, should be fresh ahead of Monday’s semi-final showdown with Malaysia.
Smith is now hoping to take plenty of confidence from the team’s performance as they head into a tough test against the 2018 Commonwealth silver medallists.
“If you look at the momentum we got in the second game, that’s what I’d call a groove,” said Smith.
“Today we went out with a fresh mindset, let yesterday slip out of our minds. We really stamped our authority and hopefully it will help the team with a bit of momentum.
“Whatever happens on the court, we need to have more presence. If we’re down, we need to still show them that we’re fighting.”
“Being on this centre court is pretty special,” added Ellis.
“Every single tournament we’ve been to in the past it’s never, ever been like this with a centre court where the seats are surrounding the court.
“The atmosphere is something we’ve not experienced before and it truly is amazing.”