Birch Smith Madrid 1200

27 March 2023

Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith face an instant rematch when Madrid Spain Masters action kicks off this week.

Coming off a run to the last eight of the YONEX Swiss Open in Basel a week ago, Birch and Smith will be feeling confident after some of their most encouraging displays in recent times.

And much like a week ago, the Commonwealth Games silver medallists open their campaign against German pairing Linda Elfer and Isabel Lohau.

Elfer and Lohau are eighth seeds in the Spanish capital, though Birch and Smith will fancy their chances of victory after rallying from a game down to beat the Germans in Basel.

Should they win that match, Birch and Smith would come up against Indian pairing Ashwini Bhat or Shikha Gautam or French stars Margot Lambert and Anne Tran in the second round.

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy will also be looking to build on a strong week having reached the last four at the Swiss Open, and could also face a rematch from that event early on.

Lane and Vendy are seeded eighth in Madrid and start the tournament with a round one contest versus Chiu Hsiang Chieh and Yang Ming-Tse.

And if they were to beat the Chinese Taipei pairing, they could next face Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang – the Chinese pairing who beat them just two days ago.

Alongside playing with Birch, Smith will be playing mixed doubles alongside Marcus Ellis as they look to bounce back from an opening round defeat last week.

Smith and Ellis do not currently know who they will play in their opening contest, having been drawn against a qualifier, though fifth seeds Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Mentari of Indonesia could wait in the second round for the English pairing.

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