Skip to Content


Lane ready for the YONEX All England's 'special aura'

Fresh from a Super 300 Swiss Open semi-final, Ben Lane, alongside long term partner Jess Pugh, will be welcomed by a first ever place in the YONEX All England main draw when they are arrive in Birmingham next week.
The pair have been on a steep 18 month learning curve on the world circuit since stepping up from junior level with a debut on the outgoing Superseries tour in Japan as dust settled after Rio 2016.
Now, at 26th in the world – and having beaten a number of the world’s top pairs in the past year - Lane and Pugh are now comfortably grounded in the world’s best entry for the Mixed Doubles main event in which England enjoys three pairs.
Everything points to an upward trajectory – technically, tactically and mentally - that has impressed mentors at the National Badminton Centre.  

CLICK HERE for last gasp tickets:

Such reward comes in swerving those tricky qualification rounds which act as gatekeeper to the next level of tournament.   

“I know there’s no qualification this year and a lot of players are missing outBen Lane, India Open 2017 on experiencing it. So being in the main draw is a big step for us as a pair” Lane said.

“We’ve showing a good level, playing with confidence and finished the year brightly with a title in Italy so it’s nice to come to Birmingham and go straight into the rounds that matter.
“As players that’s what we all want isn’t it? Getting experience of playing in such a big tournament in a massive hall in the early qualification rounds is great and everything.

“But getting stuck into the main draw with a big crowd right on top of you and wanting you to do well is what we want. That’s what we are here for.”
Last year, he and Pugh missed out on a spot in the main draw to China’s Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping - now the world number four pair and Japan Open champions - who are expected to challenge for the title this year.
“Looking back on last year’s YONEX All England, we had our chances but just didn’t take them” Lane adds. “We gave them a proper game. That’s the calibre we are playing against and the calibre we feel we can bring now.”
The 2018 YONEX All England draw brings its own challenges with Lane and Pugh paired to play the Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong – the fifth seeds - in Round One.

“Obviously this is the highest level you can get to in badminton so we have to expect to man up to such draws” Lane adds. “It is tough but its always going to be tough.

“But there is something really different about the YONEX All England that makes it so special. There’s this aura about the place.”
You can read from Ben in the 2018 YONEX All England Official Souvenir Programme - £4 - sold on the concourse at Arena Birmingham

CLICK HERE for last gasp tickets: