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Bumper English contingent descends on Denmark Open

The Denmark Open has not born an English winner in 11 years but that could change this week when a bumper contingent descends on Odense as the BWF Superseries tour continues.

Leading the English charge are Chris and Gabby Adcock, who reached the semi-finals last year and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg, who were the last English champions back in 2006.

The Adcocks – seeded fourth – face Japanese pair Yugo Kobayashi and Misaki Matsutomo in the first round, a pair they have never played previously.

Reach the semi-finals and it’s likely the World No.5 duo will go up against top seeds Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen for a place in the final.

The Adcocks are joined in the mixed doubles main draw by Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith, fresh from their victory at the Dutch Open.

Ellis and Smith, who ended England’s 11-year medal drought in the Netherlands, play Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See first up, with a potential meeting with Ben Lane and Jess Pugh in the second round.

That’s if Lane and Pugh can overcome eighth seeds Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet in their opening match in Odense, a pair they have faced only once coming at this year’s Malaysia Open.

European champion Rajiv Ouseph faces a stiff challenge in his opening tie with fourth seed Shi Yuqi his opponent across the net.

But it’s advantage Ouseph with the Englishman being victorious in their only other meeting, triumphing in straight games at the Indonesia Open earlier this year.

Ellis will also be in action in the men’s doubles alongside Chris Langridge, looking to improve on their quarter-final finish at the Dutch Open last week.

The Olympic bronze medallists are yet to learn their first-round opponents until after the qualifiers, but could face home favourites – and sixth seeds – Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding in the second round.

Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden also join them in the men’s doubles main draw, with Lane and Sean Vendy hoping to make it a trio of British pairs as they prepare for qualifying action.

In the women’s doubles, Smith and Sarah Walker will be looking to continue their impressive form of late, in which they reached the final of the Czech Open and the last eight of the Dutch Open.

They face a tough start, however, in the form of China’s second seeds Jia Yifan and Chen, crowned world champions in Glasgow two months ago.

Chloe Birch and Pugh will seek to join them in the main draw when they take to the court in qualifying, with Birch facing Canada’s Michelle Li in the women’s singles qualifiers.

Photo: Badminton Photo

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