Devastation in defeat is never an easy hurdle to overcome, but a YONEX All England Open semi-final loss has done little to deter Chris and Gabby Adcock’s determination to one day lift the coveted trophy.
The Adcocks had been gunning to become the first English pair to reach the YONEX All England final since 2006, when Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms missed out on a second title on the trot.
And it looked as though that was exactly what was on the cards, with the Adcocks settling straight into their last four clash with fifth seeds Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong to take the first game 21-19.
Their Chinese opponents soon found their feet in the second however, and gave the Adcocks little opportunity for reply as they surged to a 21-12 win without ever falling behind.
The third game was a much tighter affair, but when the English pair held match-point at 20-19, it looked as thought history was about to be written.
But it was at that moment a string in Chris’ racket broke, allowing the Chinese to turn the run of play on its head and secure a 22-20 triumph.
“We came out really strong and took a really tight first game. We were really good and we were really happy with it,” he said.
“We then dropped our level a little bit and the Chinese played really well in the second game.
“We were quite far down so decided to rebuild our mentality for the third, which we did. We came out well, but they got a bit of a lead.
“We came right back to get ourselves to match point. We really dug deep to get that and we can be proud of it. It’s devastating to lose when we were so close.”
Thank you all for the Support this week! The crowd, on social media, everything. It truly means so much! We will be back, better & stronger.— Chris Adcock (@ChrisAdcock1) March 11, 2017
Gabby added: “At the minute, it’s really sore, being so close and not taking our chances.
“It’s a tough one to take, especially when we could have just thrown in the towel in the third end.
“We brought it back to have match point so I’m really proud of us for that.
“We’re always resilient, but to not take the win, I think it’s going to hurt for a while.”
But while this year’s YONEX All England may not have finished the way Gabby had hoped, she admits the jubilant home crowd certainly made it a memorable one.
And she was quick to thank the thousands of fans who had supported them through the week.
“The crowd have been fantastic all week, I really feel that they have really followed our journey from juniors through to here,” she said.
“They’ve followed us year in, year out, and followed our progression.
“Each year, the All England support gets better and better, so we’ve got a lot to thank them for and helping us be resilient out there on court.
“We don’t want to let anyone down, so when we are fighting back, it’s for the guys who are supporting us. They are amazing.”
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