Russ and Easton 20210317 1635 AllEngland2021 BPYN2134 1

English shuttlers weren’t just competing at the YONEX German Open this week, with several players plying their trade at the Portugal International in Caldas da Rainha.

And there were some strong performances from those involved, particularly Zach Russ and Rory Easton in the men’s doubles.

Three wins took them all the way to the final day of competition following a tournament-highlight three-game quarter-final victory over Bulgaria’s Ivan Rusev and Iliyan Stoynov on Saturday.

It looked like their opponents had the momentum when edging a tight second set, but Easton and Russ roared back in the decider to close out a 21-12, 18-21, 21-9 win.

The English team were back on court 12 the following day for a semi-final clash with Taiwan’s Ye Hong Wei and Su Ching Heng.

It proved a challenge too unsurmountable for the 2021 Irish Open runners-up, as they were beaten in an extremely close contest with just three points separating the two pairs over the entire match, which ultimately went down 21-18, 19-21, 21-19.

In the other half of the draw, Avinash Gupta and Brandon Yap won their first-round tie against Germany’s Marvin Datko and Patrick Scheiel before coming up against fellow Brits Jack MacGregor and Adam Pringle in the last 16.

On this occasion it was the Scottish pair who prevailed, 21-15, 22-20.

Meanwhile in the mixed doubles Easton wasn’t able to progress quite as far as he did in the men’s event, as he and Annie Lado went out in the second round.

They were unable to capitalise on a first set win, eventually going down 16-21, 24-22, 21-15 to Serbia’s Mihajlo Tomic and Andjela Vitman.

Elsewhere, there was plenty of singles representation with a trio of English shuttlers in the women’s draw.

Abigail Holden and Pamela Reyes were both beaten in the opening round, but there was better news for Freya Redfearn.

She produced a confident performance to defeat Marija Sudimac inside 32 minutes, 21-19, 21-11.

The next round proved a tougher ask, with Hong Kong’s Yeung Sum Yee advancing, although Redfearn could take real heart from the second game, bowing out after a 21-11, 22-20 defeat.

In the men’s singles Johnnie Torjussen was England’s sole representative, but fell in the first round to Jia Wei Joel Koh of Singapore after the match went the distance, 21-12, 12-21, 21-16.

All in all, a week in the Leiria region from which our young players can take plenty of good experience.

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