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Ellis and Smith exit Bitburger Open in semi-finals

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith could not continue their winning form as they saw their Bitburger Open journey ended at the semi-final stage.

Ellis and Smith - who last month won their first title as a pair at the YONEX Dutch Open - fell to a 22-20 21-17 defeat at the hands of Denmark's Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Line Kjaersfeldt, but it wasn't without a valiant effort.

Little could separate the pairs in the opening game in Germany, Ellis and Smith managing to pull ahead after being 12-all before the Danes reeled them back.

But with the scores locked at 20-20, it was Rasmussen and Kjaersfeldt who took the early advantage.

The second game played much more into the Danes' hands, Ellis and Smith struggling to match them point-for-point.

Rasmussen and Kjaersfeldt held a healthy gap over their English opponents for the majority, eventually prevailing by four clear points to book their berth in the final.

But Ellis and Smith can hold their heads high following their performances on the continent, defeating second seeds Wang Chi-Lin and Lee Chia Hsin in the second round before toppling the Thai eighth seeds in Friday's quarter-finals.

Photo: Badminton Photo