Orleans review 1200

April 10, 2023

Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith continued their recent solid form with a run to a third straight BWF World Tour quarter-final at the Orleans Masters.

After reaching the last eight at both the YONEX Swiss Open and Madrid Spain Masters, Birch and Smith approached this week’s tournament in France in confident mood.

Seeded seventh in the draw, they began their campaign on Tuesday with a hard-fought opening round victory against Paula Lynn Cao Hok and Lauren Lam, defeating the Americans 21-16 22-20.

Things were a little more straightforward in their second round encounter, with Birch and Smith coming through a tight opening game to beat Indonesia’s Meilysa Trias Puspita Sari and Rachel Allessya Rose 21-19 21-11.

That set up a quarter-final encounter against Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen, the Danes seeded second in the draw.

And the Danish duo put on an impressive performance to prevail 21-17 21-8, though it was another good week for Birch and Smith ahead of the Paris 2024 qualification period starting in May.

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Elsewhere, Smith was also in mixed doubles action alongside Marcus Ellis.

The English pairing were eighth seeds in the draw but were beaten in a tight opening round contest against Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson, the Scots battling their way to a 21-19 22-24 21-17 triumph in an exciting battle of the Brits.

Greg Mairs and Jenny Moore, meanwhile, took their impressive recent form into their first round clash with Indonesian pair Zachariah Josiahno Sumanti and Hediana Julimarbela, coming through 21-16 22-20.

Chinese pair Jiang Zhenbang and Wei Yaxin proved too strong in the second round despite a strong fight from Mairs and Moore, who went down 18-21 11-21 but remain in pole position among British players in the race to Paris.

Meanwhile, there were two English pairings in action in the men’s doubles draw.

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy were fourth seeds but tasted a 21-16 21-17 defeat to Chinese Taipei’s Su Ching Heng and Ye Hong Wei in their opening encounter.

Badminton England Futures Squad players Rory Easton and Zach Russ were also competing, having been promoted from the qualifying draw following a string of withdrawals.

The English pairing were handed a tough draw against third seeds and 2022 YONEX All England champions Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana and put on a solid showing in a 21-11 21-15 loss to the Indonesians, an experience from which the young duo will learn plenty.


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