June 17, 2023

Callum Hemming and Estelle van Leeuwen were the pick of the British performers in France as they reached the quarter-finals of the Nantes International Challenge.

Hemming and Van Leeuwen fell to Denmark’s Mads Vestergaard and Christine Busch for the second tournament in a row, after suffering narrow defeat to the pair in the semi-finals of the VICTOR Denmark Masters last week.

The English duo had battled their way into the last eight with three-game victories over Patrick Scheiel and Franziska Volkmann 21-14 18-21 21-13 and then Chinese Taipei’s Ming Che Lu and Hung En-Tzu 21-13 12-21 21-16.

But world no.50 pair were ultimately too strong for Hemming and Van Leeuwen, running out 21-15 21-13 winners in 26 minutes.

The other mixed doubles action saw Brandon Zhi Hao Yap and Abbygael Harris reach the last-16 before an impressive performance in defeat to third seeds Mikkel Mikkelsen and Rikke Soby.

Yap and Harris first emerged victorious from an all-English battle against Ethan van Leeuwen and Annie Lado, edging a tightly-fought first game before pulling away in the second to seal a 21-19 21-14 victory.

Defeat then came against the Danes despite Harris and Yap taking the first game 21-18, with the European bronze medallists bouncing back to seal the win 18-21 21-19 21-13.

In the women’s doubles, Harris teamed up with Lado to advance to the last 16 thanks to a comfortable 21-11 21-12 win against Azerbaijan’s Keisha Fatimah Az Zahra and Era Maftuha.

But the pair were unable to reach the quarter-finals, as they lost 21-16 21-14 to India’s Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa.

There was also a last-16 defeat for Lizzie Tolman and Estelle Van Leeuwen who were beaten by third seeds Paula Lynn Cao Hok and Lauren Lam, despite pushing the American pair all the way in a 21-13 23-21 loss.

Tolman and Van Leeuwen had earlier bounced back from a heavy opening game defeat in their round of 32 contest against Amalie Cecilie Kudsk and Signe Schulz to progress 6-21 24-22 21-11.

The round of 32 was the exit stage for Alex Green and Brandon Zhi Hao Yap in the men’s doubles, as they were beaten 21-17 21-10 to France’s Eloi Adam and Leo Rossi.

And Callum Hemming and Ethan van Leeuwen also fell at the same hurdle, losing an epic three-game battle with Chun Meng Beh and Boon Zhe Goh, eventually going down 21-17 10-21 21-19.

But Rory Easton and Zach Russ did make it through to the round of 16 with a convincing 21-13 21-7 victory over Zhi-Wei He and Huang Jui-Hsuan before Malaysian pair Junaidi Arif and Roy King Yap denied them a quarter final place 21-19 21-14.

The only singles action saw a superb run to the last 16 for 21-year-old qualifier Harry Huang, who battled through three qualification matches and beat France’s Yanis Gaudin 21-19 21-15 in the round of 32 before falling to seventh seed Mads Christophersen 21-15 21-8.

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