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Briggs and I can cause European upset, says Wolfenden

Tom Wolfenden insists an upset could be on the cards when he and Peter Briggs begin their European Championships quest next week against the world number six pairing.

Taking place in Kolding, Denmark from April 25-30, the competition will see the English pair go head-to-head with home favourites and top seeds Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen in the opening round.

Four-time European medallists, Boe and Mogensen also have 14 BWF Superseries titles to their name, most recently triumphing at the Singapore Open.

But Wolfenden and Briggs, the English number two pair, have enjoyed a stellar start to 2017 themselves, notably reaching the last 16 of the YONEX All England Open – that’s one round further than the Danes.

In February, they made the semi-finals of the Austrian Open, before making the last eight at the Orleans International in France earlier this month.

Wolfenden and Briggs have never faced Boe and Mogensen, but with their confidence on court at an all-time high, Wolfenden sees no reason why they can’t give the Danes a real run for their money.

“We knew we would have a chance of getting a tough draw with us not being seeded,” he said.

“We ended up drawing Boe and Mogensen, who are former world number ones.

“Of course we look forward to playing the top pairs, it's great for us to learn from the experience of playing them, but we also look forward to the challenge and the chance of upsetting them.

“We have never played them before but we will approach it like every game we play. We will do our preparation and analysis as we always do.

“Then on match day we will do our usual warm up routines and go on with confidence and belief that we can win.

“Our preparation has been really good over the last few weeks, we have been working really hard and we feel good.

“We are training at a good level but we now just can't wait to get out there and do our best at causing an upset.”

Also playing in the men’s doubles are Rio 2016 bronze medallists and fifth seeds Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge who take on Daniel Nikolov and Ivan Rusev of Bulgaria while unseeded Ben Lane and Sean Vendy take on Dutch duo Jelle Maas and Robin Tabeling.

Fontaine Chapman moves straight into the second round of the women’s singles following a bye with teammate Chloe Birch hoping to join her by beating Greece’s Ioanna Karapetridou in her first round match on Tuesday.

In the men’s singles, second Rajiv Ouseph has also been given a bye into the second round while Toby Penty plays Germany’s Kai Schaefer in round one of Tuesday.

Gabby Adcock, 2017 All EnglandChris and Gabby Adcock, pictured left, are seeded second for the European Championships and play Switzerland’s Oliver Schaller and Celine Burkart first up on Tuesday evening.

In the other half of the draw, Gregory Mairs and Jenny Moore play Finland’s Anton Kaisti and Jenny Nystrom with Lane and Jessica Pugh taking on Danish top seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen.

Also in action in Kolding are Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker, who take on Emilie Lefel and Anne Tran of France in the first round of the women’s doubles with Moore and Victoria Williams playing Spain’s Laia Oset and Lorena Usle.

Seeded seventh, Smith and Walker come into the tournament fresh from their time in Asia, and they are raring to show what they can do.

“The French are always good fighters so it will be a tough game but we are definitely up for it. We will be well prepared for the match,” Smith said.

“Sarah and myself are both looking forward to the competition, we are quite settled with playing with each other now so it is good timing.

“The Asia tour was a good learning curve, we have got a lot from the matches we played so hopefully we can take these lessons forward.”


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