Chris and Gabby Adcock will look to return to winning form this week as the China Open gets underway.
Since sealing World Championship bronze in Glasgow three months ago, the Adcocks have missed out on the quarter-finals in the ensuing tournaments, slipping down the rankings from fourth to sixth.
Not since 2005 has the English flag been flown highest in China - coming with Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms’ mixed doubles win – but the Adcocks will be keen to change that as they go into the tournament in Fuzhou as third seeds.
Two years ago, the English pair reached the quarter-finals, eliminated at the hands of home favourites Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin, before bowing out in the second round in 2016.
The Adcocks will face Chinese Taipei duo Wang Chi-Lin and Lee Chia Hsin in the first round, a pair they have yet to meet on court.
Reach the last eight and they are likely to play fifth seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong, with top seeds Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto their potential opponents in the semi-finals.
England’s only other representative in China is Rajiv Ouseph, who faces a testing opener against fourth seed Shi Yuqi.
But it’s advantage Ouseph, with the Chinese shuttler never having defeated the reigning European champion.
On the two previous occasions they have met, coming at this year’s Indonesia and Denmark Opens, Ouseph has triumphed in straight games, and he’ll be hoping for more of the same in Asia.
Reach the quarter-finals and he could face another home favourite Chen Long, having not met the current Olympic champion since 2015.
Photo: Badminton Photo