It was a successful day for the English mixed doubles pairings at the YONEX Dutch Open, with Marcus Ellis, Lauren Smith, Ben Lane and Jess Pugh all securing their spot in the semi-finals.
Dutch pairing Imke van der Aar and Jelle Maas were buoyed by the roar of the home crowd, but that did not stop Lane and Pugh from defeating them 21-16 21-17.
The Dutch duo immediately went ahead in the first game, but Lane and Pugh pulled level at 5-5 and did not look back.
Van der Aar and Maas continued to put up a fight in the second and the English shuttlers did well to avoid a third game, saving their energy for tomorrow’s semi-final against home favourites Jacco Arends and Selena Piek.
Ellis and Smith made remarkably light work of Mai Surrow and Mikkel Mikkelsen, considering the Danish pair are 54 places higher in the world rankings.
Victory was never really in doubt as the English mixed doubles pairing only trailed twice across both games, eventually winning 21-15 21-8 after just 26 minutes of play.
They now face India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa in a bid to secure themselves a spot in Sunday’s final.
Olympic medallist Ellis also played in the men’s doubles quarter-final alongside Rio partner Chris Langridge and the pair were unlucky to be on the losing side of a 94-minute duel with Liao Min Chun and Cheng Heng Su.
They took the second game against their opponents from Chinese Taipei, but Liao and Su battled back to win 22-20 25-27 21-19.
Lane was also in action in the men’s doubles, but failed to advance with partner Sean Vendy and Pugh also had to settle for just one semi-final spot, losing in the women’s doubles with Chloe Birch.
Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker reached the last eight too, but there was nothing they could do to overcome top seeds Anggia Shitta Awanda and Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani.