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Blend of youth and experience in Nationals draw

Blend of youth and experience in Nationals draw

Chris and Gabby Adcock are each aiming for a family double when they tackle the English National Badminton Championships at the arena: stadiummk in Milton Keynes this weekend.

Chris is trying to regain the mixed and men’s doubles titles he won in 2012 but which went to Chris Langridge last year.

Meanwhile, Adcock’s wife Gabby is looking to extend her women’s doubles dominance to five wins in a row in an event which has their personal sponsor Yonex, the world’s number one badminton brand, as BADMINTON England’s Offical Sports Equipment Partners for the English National Championships series.

But to win the mixed doubles title the Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong winners and the world’s fifth ranked pair may well have to overcome one of England’s greatest players.

For today’s draw put the Adcocks on a quarter-final collision course with former World, European and Commonwealth champion and 2004 Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms, who has come out of retirement in a ‘play for fun’ partnership with current England international and 2013 runner-up Marcus Ellis.

But to reach Saturday’s quarter-finals Ellis and Emms, who won the title six times, may have to beat Ben Stawski and Alex Langley in the second round.
Nottinghamshire’s Langley is also likely to face six-times women’s doubles champion Emms and three-time winner Ella Tripp in the second round of the women’s doubles.

But first she and partner Helena Lewczynska must overcome Lucy Mason and Lubomira Stoynova in the first round of an event where Heather Olver and Kate Robertshaw are top seeds and Adcock and Smith are seeded to meet them in the final. Olver is looking to end her run of four final defeats by Adcock.

Adcock and Ellis are top men’s doubles seeds and should not be tested until the semi-finals when they come up against young England stars and third seeds Chris Coles and Matthew Nottingham. Holders and second seeds Chris Langridge and Peter Mills will face their first big test when they are likely to meet fourth seeds Peter Briggs and Harley Towler in Saturday night’s semi-finals.

In the men’s singles Rajiv Ouseph will probably have to overcome seventh seed Sam Dobson and third seed Rhys Walker if he is to reach the final of an event he has won for the last six years.

Carl Baxter, who has lost in the last five finals, is in the same half as Ouseph and is expected to face Walker in the quarter-finals if he can get past Ben Beckman in the second round.

In the bottom half, second seed Toby Penty is likely to be tested by fifth seed Jamie Bonsels in the quarter-finals with fourth seed Sam Parsons and eighth seed Sam Phillips likely to fight it out for a semi-final place.

The women’s singles is the toughest to predict with three past or present champions in the line-up.

Defending champion Sarah Walker has fifth seed Chloe Birch likely to bar her path at the quarter-final stage with third seed Panuga Riou and sixth seed Georgina Bland likely to contest the other quarter-final.

In the bottom half, five-times champion Elizabeth Cann should come through to face second seed and 2013 runner-up Fontaine Chapman in the quarter-finals, where 2011 winner and fourth seed Nicola Cerfontyne should meet seventh seed Lewczynska.

To view the full draw please click here

For tickets please visit the Nationals website