The European champions may be out of the YONEX All England Open 2018 but Chris Adcock had pride in his wife for helping them to the quarter-finals.
Chris and Gabby Adcock were the only remaining English representation on day three in Birmingham but weren’t able to reach a third successive semi-final, losing out to Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino on Friday night.
The husband and wife pairing were beaten 18-21 21-15 21-15, ending an impressive run that has seen them beat two top-ten ranked pairs, despite Gabby’s recent return from a serious ankle injury.
“Their strength is speed,” said Chris when asked about Watanabe and Higashino.
“It’s one of our main strengths as well. It was always going to be a fast-paced game but we just had too many moments where we lapsed in concentration.
“Whether that’s match sharpness or not – it could be – but we always come to these tournaments because we want to win them and with the preparation we had, I’m amazingly proud that Gabs even got on court this week.
“You wouldn’t have believed where we were two weeks ago so to be coming out here Friday night; we would’ve bit your hand off.
“We hate losing. It’s tough to take but a bit of perspective is good.”
Gabby, 27, injured her ankle in January and was playing in her first tournament since then, with only one week’s worth of training behind her.
Cheered on by a packed-out Friday night crowd at Arena Birmingham, the Adcocks settled into the match well and looked the more composed against a pairing who’d beaten them two years ago.
Watanabe and Higashino dominated the second game with a pacy style that belies their world ranking of 48 and managed to replicate it in the third.
“I think the pair we played are very, very quick and I need to be up to pace with that pair,” said Gabby.
“I am surprised that I managed to get to a quarter-final in my first tournament. I would’ve bit your hand off if you’d offered me it a week ago.
“Obviously, I wasn’t sure I was going to play but I’m an athlete and I always come here to win and one day, it’s a dream of ours to pick that trophy up at home.
“Realistically, with the preparation we have had, we need to sit down and have a bit of perspective; not analyse it and beat ourselves up too much.”
The Adcocks have been named in a ten-strong English team to compete at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast next month and will now prepare for a second huge event in as many months.
Chris and Gabby are the reigning Commonwealth Games mixed doubles champions after their success in Glasgow four years ago and Gabby insists she’ll be ready to defend the title.
“It’s definitely been good preparation for us to come out and have such amazing match practice before the Commonwealths,” she added.
“I’ve got a few more weeks now to have a bit of training under my belt and I’m sure we’ll be ready for that, 110 per cent.”
The world's best badminton players are in Birmingham for the YONEX All England (14-18 March). For tickets, TV schedule results, & reaction: allenglandbadminton.com
Chris and Gabby Adcock start their European title defence on Day One of the 2018 European Championships - and its one of six matches with English interest.