“Sheer relief and pride in our performance”

Swiss Open 2024

3 April, 2024

The dust has now settled on an outstanding victory for Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in Switzerland – the pair’s first Super 300 final and a straight games win to seal gold against Indonesia’s Olympic-hopefuls Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulanab in Basel last month.

“My initial thought was relief,” Lane explained. “It was a super hard match. We were leading the first game, they came back and it could have gone either way.

“Then they were leading in the second but we stuck at it and we came back. And after that final rally finished, it was relief that we’d won it more than anything else.”

“For me, I was so relieved to have been able to get back on court after picking up an injury,” Vendy continued. “And winning in two was massive because I’m not sure if I would have been able to carry on if it had gone to a third.

“And then after the relief, it was pride. Proud of our resilience, especially in the big points.

“We feel like it has been coming for a while. Every day we are consistent in our training and we are always giving our best. So we knew that one day it had to happen for us. And in Switzerland we put it all together and played really well.”

In the quarter-finals, Ben and Sean outplayed Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin from Chinese Taipei – the reigning Olympic champions who will be defending their title in Paris this summer.

And in the final, Lane and Vendy battled past the number nine pair in the fight for Olympic qualification – the Indonesians knowing victory would have been a huge step towards qualification for this summer’s Games. But the English pair were not daunted and denied them the win they needed in spectacular fashion.

“We’ve played them something like ten times now and only beaten them twice. So they are clearly a very good pair,” Ben said.

“Going into the quarter-final, we knew it was going to be a super tough match – we knew we would have to play really well to win. And from that match to the end, we just maintained that really high level – a level we show regularly in training but which we haven’t been able to put into a tournament until now.

“But it’s a team effort when you win something. Nathan [Robertson] has won major tournaments, has an Olympic medal…and to have someone like that in the chair, it gives us confidence when we are playing. He knows how to deal with certain situations in the game and that experience comes across when he comes on to speak to us in the breaks in play.

“And Julian too, everyone who works on the performance side of the building who put so much into helping us get to where we are. So a big thank you to Nathan, Julian and everyone who we work with on a day-to-day basis.”

Swiss Open 2024

Victory has only served to whet the duo’s appetite for more!

“Now, we’ve got to keep doing it,” Lane continued. “We don’t want to be ‘win one tournament and then you disappear’. We need to maintain that level in every tournament we play.”

“Next up for us is the European Championships in Saarbrucken – another big goal for us,” Sean smiled. “A championship event and we want to go and win.

“We haven’t won a Championship event yet, we have a bronze and a silver…so we’re missing one for the full collection!”

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Swiss Open 2024

Watch the full interview with Ben Lane and Sean Vendy…and don’t forget to follow their progress in the European Championships next week…

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