Olympic bronze medallists Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge eased into the last 16 of the 2017 World Championships with a comfortable straight-games victory over Austria’s Dominik Stipsits and Roman Zirnwald.
The 14th seeds had started somewhat uncharacteristically slowly at 15-15 in the opener, but with six straight points giving them the first game, they were to never look back from their place in the next round in Glasgow and a first career meeting with Chung Eui Seok and Kim Dukyoung.
And the English duo will know an opportunity awaits if they can turn over the South Koreans after two seeded upsets, including the exit of Li and Liu, the Chinese top seeds, threw open their end of the men’s doubles draw.
They will need to be wary. Despite being ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as December, Chung Eui Seok and Kim Dukyoung cannot be discounted. Their straight games defeat of fifth seeds Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong, themselves Rio 2016 medallists having won silver, carried a little known threat.
Ellis and Langridge are never ones to be complacent though - today’s World’s opener, after a two day wait thanks to a first round bye, living proof of that.
While it wasn’t the most fluent curtain raiser Ellis and Langridge will ever play, there is a feeling of more to come for a pair looking for their maiden World Championship medals.
“I think the first few points are going to be nerve-wracking, whether you’re playing the best in the competition or the worst,” said Ellis.
“It did take us a few points to get going, the first half of that first set was a little bit slow from us.
“But once we did get going and had that break we really stepped up on the court, tried to take the attack and we allowed ourselves to get used to the court and the arena.
“I think we can do better than that, we did dominate that second set and had a bit of fun towards the end, but we do expect better than that and hopefully we can show that going forward.”
But whilst Langridge and Ellis joined Rajiv Ouseph in the Round of 16 stage in Glasgow, it wasn’t to be for Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker, missing out in the women’s doubles to fifth seeds Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan, despite a valiant display.
Thursday’s action will see Chris and Gabby Adcock return to the court, with 11th seeds Kenta Kazuno and Ayane Kurihara their challenge in the bid for the quarter-finals.