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21 August, 2023

The first day of the BWF World Championships 2023 saw Zach Russ and Rory Easton make their debut as one English pairing advanced.

Russ and Easton’s first match on the biggest stage ended in defeat to the World No.21s Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan. 

Abbygael Harris and Annie Lado also tasted defeat in a tightly contested match after Gregory and Jenny Mairs had got a win in the mixed doubles. 

In the men’s doubles, Easton and Russ saw the first game get away from them as the Chinese Taipei pair won seven points in a row to build their lead to 15-7. 

The English duo closed the gap to six points before Lee and Yang closed out the first game 21-12. 

The second game was a much closer affair with Lee and Yang’s advantage never stretching past three points. 

Easton and Russ held the lead four times during the second game and were three points away from levelling the tie at 18-17. 

Lee and Yang then won three points in a row to re-establish control but were made to work for the win as they closed out the game at the sixth time of asking. 

Abbygael Harris and Annie Lado were also on the wrong side of a tight contest, as they lost out 22-20 21-19 to Jaqueline and Samia Lima. 

Harris and Lado had held a 15-9 lead in the first game, only to see the Brazilians fight back with eight of the next nine points. 

The English duo then held game point at 20-19 before a late surge from Lima and Lima saw them steal the first game 22-20. 

It was a similarly competitive affair in the second, with Harris and Lado again holding the lead heading into the closing stages. 

This time, the Brazil duo won six straight points to swing the momentum before closing out the win on the second time of action. 

Jenny and Gregory Mairs knocked out World No. 60 Mihajlo Tomic and Andjela Vitman in a comprehensive performance. 

The Mairs pairing were competing at a BWF event for the first time since getting married and defeated their Serbian opponents 21-13 21-14. 

Mairs and Mairs will be back in mixed doubles action tomorrow as will Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith, with Smith also teaming up with Chloe Birch in the women’s doubles. 

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy also get their men’s doubles campaign underway when they take on Anibal Marroquin and Jonathan Solis of Guatemala. 

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