Ellis and Smith

23 October, 2023

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy are eyeing up a third successive BWF World Tour round one victory at the upcoming 2023 French Open in Rennes.

The men’s doubles pairing face China’s Liu Yi and Chen Bo Yang in the opening round, with pivotal Super 750 points up for grabs in the race to Paris 2024.

A win will see them go up against either France’s Christo Popov and Toma Junior Popov or Korea’s Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae with a chance at making the quarterfinals.

The duo recently reached the second round of the Danish Open, but were narrowly beaten 21-19, 19-21, 19-21 by 2023 YONEX All England champions Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto, just one week after tasting victory at the Arctic Open in Finland.

Lane and Vendy will  take great confidence from their battle with the world number two pairing as they head into another Super 750 event.

Other English interest comes in the mixed doubles, with two pairs in the main draw.

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Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith face a tough opening clash against top seeds Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong from China.

The duo will be looking to bring motivation from their recent Danish Open performance, after taking the fifth seeds to a third game, but will need to raise their level still further to get past the Tokyo Olympic silver medallists.

Greg and Jenny Mairs know how tough that challenge is, having recently faced the Chinese pair at the Danish Open.

They had a difficult opening round test against the top seeds last week, winning the opening game before eventually falling to defeat.

In Rennes, they will battle against 2021 YONEX All England runners-up Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsumoto of Japan.

If both English pairs emerge from round one victorious, they will set up an exciting all-England second round clash, facing each other for a potential spot in the quarterfinals.

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