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Success in Saarbrucken ends England's drought

Three titles in 29 years, then two get won in a day!
English badminton halted a dismal record in Germany today in spectacular style and, in the process, ended a 14 year wait for a title by winning two on the World Tour.

Formerly known Bitburger GPG, the now named Super 100 Saarlorlux Open has had a variety of event titles on the world circuit in its 30 year history. Regardless of designation above the door, English badminton have found titles hard to come by in Saarbrucken winning just three, the last coming in 2004 courtesy of Anthony Clark and Simon Archer.

Today that 14 year wait came to end - and, fittingly Clark was on England’s coaching bench as fortunes were reversed thanks to Chris Langridge, Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith.

It was a men’s doubles title victory for Langridge and Ellis – their second together this year on the World Tour – that set the tone with gold in the day’s opening match.

The third seeds did it the hard way coming back from a game down, despite holding four game points of their own in the first, against Malaysia’s top seeds Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh. 

They won 21-23, 21-18, 21-19 in 74 minutes.

For Langridge, success if Saarbrucken was a long time coming having been a beaten finalist six years ago when playing alongside then partner Peter Mills.

And there was more success to come for Ellis who returned to court with Lauren Smith, facing 2016 YONEX All England champion Lu Kai and new partner Chen Lu in the Mixed Doubles final.

The Chinese pair edged a close first end and appeared on course for glory at 14-7 up in the second. However a stunning fightback saw the English draw level at 16-16 before establishing their own winning lead to 21-18.

The decider was decisive with Smith and Ellis never behind, winning 21-10 to become the first English pair to win in Saarbrucken since Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson in 2002.

Rajiv Ouseph’s hopes of becoming the first English singles player to lift a trophy in Saarbrucken was ended in the men’s singles final where he was downed 21-11, 21-14 by India’s Subhankar Dey.

Playing in his first World Tour final, Dey had beaten Lin Dan en route to the final.