October 27, 2023
Ben Lane and Sean Vendy registered a BWF World Tour victory for the third tournament in succession as they reached the round of 16 at the YONEX French Open.
The men’s doubles duo have enjoyed a stellar European swing, tasting success in Finland, Denmark and now Rennes to make for a strong end to 2023.
Their victims were the young Chinese pairing of Bo Yang Chen and Yi Liu, who beat Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana in the final to win April’s Orleans Masters – the only other French stop on the Tour.
It was a rematch of the previous week’s first-round encounter in Odense, that went to three games, but this time Lane and Vendy dominated proceedings to run out 21-13 21-14 winners.
In the next round, they had the reigning world champions on the run. The Englishmen won the opener 21-19 and then took Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae to 13-13 in the second.
The Koreans then won nine of the next ten points and crashed through the open door in the decider, which they wrapped up 21-10 to claim victory in 67 minutes.
“I thought we played a solid match again apart from a small patch in the second set which managed to give them the momentum,” said Lane.
“It’s always tough playing against the current world champions who are obviously playing well and confident.
“We have plenty of tournaments coming up so these last few weeks have been a good start to this block.”
For Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith, a first meeting with Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong since 2019 offered a reminder of the Chinese pairing’s class.
The mixed doubles pair couldn’t get a look in as they went down to a 21-12 21-11 defeat.
There was useful Super 750 experience for Greg and Jenny Mairs, who matched up reasonably well with Japan’s Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo but were outlasted 21-18 21-18.