Devon’s Alex Lane believes he can challenge Rajiv Ouseph for the English National Championships title after a brilliant semi-final win on Saturday night.
Lane beat second seed Toby Penty to advance to Sunday’s final at the University of Derby, with four defending champions looking to retain their titles.
Lane said: “That’s a huge win for me because Toby is a really good player and a great friend so to beat him like that and make my first final I am really happy.
“I’m quite emotional because I left full time training six months ago to go to University but I have worked extremely hard since then so that’s a big result.
“I think if I play well tomorrow I can certainly challenge Raj but we’ll just have to see.”
Ouseph is one match away from his eighth title after a clinical win over Alex Marritt 21-7, 21-12.
Chapman on song
Fontaine Chapman will hope to atone for the disappointment of missing out on last year’s women’s singles title after beating the current champion.
Top seed Chapman was in fine form as she beat Nicola Cerfontyne 21-14, 21-13 and will now meet Chloe Birch, who beat Atu Rosalina Sagita 21-17, 21-13.
“I’m really happy with that semi-final,” said Chapman. “Obviously it was a repeat of the final last year and I was really nervous playing her last year but I knew what I had to do this time around.”
Chapman and Birch train together but this will be the first time they have met competitively since last year’s semi-final.
Mixed doubles set for enticing showdown
Defending champions Chris and Gabby Adcock duly took their places in the mixed doubles final.
And they will play in-form pair Chris Coles and Sophie Brown, who edged out second seeds Matthew Nottingham and Emily Westwood 21-16, 17-21, 21-19 in a 57-minute thriller.
“I could literally cry,” said an emotional Coles. “That third set was so up and down. We showed so much character there to stay with it, we could quite easily have lost when we went to 12-12 in the third. It was the biggest match of our lives.”
Doubles champions still on course
Meanwhile, defending champions Heather Olver and Lauren Smith just made it through to the final after beating Birch and Jenny Wallwork 21-16, 15-21, 21-17.
The English number ones will play Brown and Kate Robertshaw in the final.
Brown is the only player who will contest two finals on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the men's doubles last four provided two entertaining matches to close the evening.
Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge will aim for their second title together.
But it took the longest match of the day - 66 minutes - for the Olympic hopefuls to see off the spirited Coles and Andy Ellis 21-19, 19-21, 21-12.
They will meet Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden, who edged out Nottingham and Harley Towler, also in three.
Follow the final scores live on tournament software.
Watch the finals streamed live tomorrow at badmintonengland.co.uk/tv.
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