Home or away? The answer is obvious for England’s Olympic bronze medallist Marcus Ellis.
The 29-year-old cannot wait to hear the roar from the British fans when he steps out at the YONEX All England Championships next month alongside partner Chris Langridge.
They will challenge for the men’s doubles title, currently held by Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sulkamljo, from Indonesia.
Ellis is hopeful they have a chance with up to 30,000 home fans at their back, with eclipsing their run to the last eight in 2016 the first target.
“I think it speaks volumes because some of our best performances have come at the YONEX All England,” he said.
“They have not always been wins but the actual performances themselves are unbelievable. I think that says a lot about where you are. You have not had to travel, you step out and the whole arena wants you to win.
“It makes a big difference. In football home is always better than away - you’re stronger at home.”
The pair, currently ranked 17th in the world, will go in having reached the quarter finals of the Indonesia Masters already this year, along with a string of impressive 2018 performances.
Last year included wins at the Scottish Open and Canada Open as well as gold medals on the Gold Coast at the Commonwealth Games.
But for now, the focus is on the upcoming action at the Arena Birmingham and Ellis hopes he can inspire the next generation to pick up a racket.
He said: “Fans can expect some unbelievably world class badminton. I’m not just saying that. The All England will be the highest level of badminton you will ever see.
“We are lucky we have this tournament every year which people can go to. If you go and watch it live you will have a whole new understanding of the sport.
“I remember going when I was about six or seven and I could not believe even back then what the standard was like and that inspired me to pick up a racket and play.
“Now I get to be the one to walk out and play there, so you have got a full cycle from when I was a kid.
“That’s what we want for badminton going forward, hopefully we can inspire people to do the same thing.”
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