Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge put up a brave performance but just couldn’t find a way to break down Korean resistance in the YONEX All England Championships last eight on Friday evening.
The English national champions threw everything at top-seeded pair Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yoo Seong, but fell short 21-17, 21-11 after an intensely physical encounter at the Barclaycard Arena.
The English duo were always ahead in the opener and backed by noisy home support in Birmingham they carved open leads of 7-3 and 14-11.
But the Koreans somehow survived a barrage of attacks from the Englishmen as the world number one’s defences failed to be breached. It was performance that Ellis and Langridge paid tribute to afterwards.
“We gave it everything we had but they took a lot out of us physically and really worked us towards the end of the first set – and that set the tone,” said Ellis after this attritional 58-minute tussle.
“They probably have the best defence in the world and were getting back three, four, five more shots each rally.”
The Korean world number one’s lifted six Superseries titles last year, missing out on the World Championship title, while they had won the pairs’ previous meeting in a tight three-game battle at last year’s Indonesian Open.
No heroics today for Langridge/Ellis as they go down 21-17 21-11 to top seeded Koreans but the crowd salute the effort, passion & courage— Badminton England (@BadmintonEnglnd) March 11, 2016
But Ellis and Langridge had insisted this week that they could beat any top pairing on the day and their run this week has given them a vital boost in the Road to Rio rankings.
“We are very happy overall and we put in a great performance,” said Langridge.
“But when you come up against the best in the world you can’t just be good, you have to be excellent. It was certainly closer than the score suggests."
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