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Adcocks worlds SF

Semi final heartbreak for the Adcocks at the Worlds

There will be a brilliant World Championships bronze medal coming home in the racket bags of Chris and Gabby Adcock this Sunday.

But the newly ranked world number four pair's hopes of returning with a slightly different colour didn't materialise after some Saturday night heartbreak in Glasgow.

The Adcocks, backed by their army of adoring fans, missed out on a place in the World Championships' mixed doubles final, beaten 15-21, 21-23 by world number one pair, Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen. 

The semi final, in front of a near sell out home crowd at the Emirates Arena primed for GB success, would have been the perfect setting on which to mark a career first victory over the Chinese top seeds.

But, alas, the shootout for a shot at the World title was to end up going the same way as the five previous meetings with the 2015 World Junior Champions proving formidable opponents.

So typical of the Chinese game, they started at a canter, and at 11-5 set the tone for a 17-minute first end in which the Adcocks always trailed with Siwei orchestrating proceedings with some clever mid court play.

The second kicked off in similar fashion - the young top seeds out of the blocks to establish an 8-3 lead. But the Adcocks have world class mental resilience and fighting spirit in their extensive armoury and that sparked a much improved second end where the variety and rotation we have come to expect started to draw a stranglehold.

At 16-12 down, the pairs exchanged points to 19-16, albeit the Chinese were quick to suffocate any potential run of points that the Adcocks could muster.

But drama was to come amid a stirring Adcock comeback, inspired by Gabby’s net play and Chris’ power from the rear court.

A controversial line call on a wide of target Chris serve at 19-18, eventually corrected by the umpire, had the potential to derail the English resilience. Instead it appeared to galvanise them, saving three match points to 22-21 before eventually conceding at the fourth attempt.

“It was just one point and there were a lot of other points we could have done better in." said Chris of the controversy which saw the scoreboard adjusted in favour of their rivals.

“We are disappointed,” Gabby said. “We didn’t bring our level and we didn’t bring our style. It’s frustrating because we’ve been playing well all week.

"We really felt we had a chance so to lose is disappointing but in a few days we will be proud of the bronze medal.

“We’ve got lots to learn, we’re disappointed, but we want to do more and we want to do better.”

But when all is said and done, this is a year that these two will never forget.

After all, the European champions had never won a world medal together – a dream Chris had always wanted to achieve with his wife having picked up silver with Scotland's Imogen Bankier in 2011.

And in the week that saw them rise to fourth in the world rankings, this is a journey that is not ending in the Emirates Arena.

“The team came away from the Olympics with a medal, and us and Raj [Ouseph] became European champions,” said Chris.

“We’ve always known that we have a good squad, we’ve really had to fight through a tough time and I think it just goes to show the resilience of the squad.

“I’m super proud of Gabs, super proud of us and what we’ve achieved this week, but it never feels good ending on a loss.”

Runners-up finish for Briggs and Wolfenden at Belgian International

A strong YONEX Belgian International 2017 campaign for Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden ended with a silver medal after an exciting men’s doubles final on Saturday.

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