England’s Lauren Smith remains in the running for a hat trick of Commonwealth Games medals – and is ready to defy and dent home advantage once again in her mission to achieve it.
Smith already has team bronze in the bag and knows she will play for a medal in both Mixed Doubles and Women’s Doubles tomorrow after making two of five semi-finals in which there will be English representation.
The Cumbrian won Women’s Doubles bronze with Gabby Adcock four years ago in Glasgow in a run which saw them beat Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour and Imogen Bankier to silence a passionate Scottish crowd en route to the medal "match.
Now she can play pantomime villain all over again – this time against Australian rivals at their home Games – with gold still at stake.
She and Sarah Walker play Setyana Mapasa and Gronya Somerville, the Australian top seeds who are ranked at a career high 21st in the world.
But Smith is unfazed, having already faced and, significantly, beaten the pair 21-17, 21-19 during the 5-0 team event win eight days ago on the Gold Coast.
“It will be difficult with the crowd against us, but we are willing to fight. I have beaten some Scots in Scotland before, so I should be able to beat some Aussies in Australia,” Smith said after booking a semi-final slot this morning.
“We played the Australians in the team event already so we know the pair quite well. We won that game, hopefully we will have the edge on them.
"We will watch the game back and learn some more – but a lot of it is about us.
“Each game we have played, we have gone out and done the job – we are playing well and are ready for tomorrow.
“We will prepare as best we can and get ready for a tough match. There is no one in here we cannot beat and we have to use that confidence in every match we step into.”
Lauren Smith opens and closes the action on Semi-Final Saturday at the Carrera 2 Arena.
She and Sarah Walker’s mission to make the Commonwealth Games Women’s Doubles final opens play at 2am.
Smith returns to court with Marcus Ellis for a Mixed Doubles semi-final against India’s Satwick Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa scheduled as last one.
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.