Smith and Ellis’ defeat ends English involvement in YAE

Lauren Smith Marcus Ellis YAE 2024 1200

14 March 2024

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith lost in the second round of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships 2024 to bring English involvement to an end. 

The mixed doubles pair were up against Dejan Ferdinansyah and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia who were in a buoyant mood after knocking out the fifth seeds in the first round.

Ellis and Smith shared a close encounter with the duo earlier this year and there was little to separate them in the first game.

The longest run of points came at the conclusion of the opener as Ferdinansyah and Widjaja powered to 21-17 with four consecutive points.

The second game was a different story as Smith and Ellis struggled with the change of ends and succumbed to a 21-9 loss.

“I’m really disappointed at the moment,” Smith said. “We love playing in here and I’m as disappointed for myself as I am for the crowd because I don’t think we put on the best show there.

“In the second half of the second set she [Widjaja] must have had a nine-point run on her serve, which just isn’t great.

“But we really struggled to find the length and get the attack on that second end, so we were always on the backfoot a little bit, which is just disappointing.

“We did some really good stuff in the first set, but I think there was probably five, six, maybe more really easy errors that cost us, so that made a big difference.

“I’m just disappointed with it. I think we wanted to do better for ourselves, especially here.”

Smith and Ellis were the only English pairing to make it to the second round in Birmingham after knocking out Greg and Jenny Mairs in the first round.

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy had tasted defeat in the men’s doubles on Wednesday before English involvement ended at the round of 16 stage.

For Ellis, a tactical change from Ferdinansyah and Widjaja proved the difference.

He said: “After the break in the first set, they changed the way that they were playing, I think for the rest of the match, we really struggled to adapt to that.

“We managed to stay with them in that first set, but I don’t think we were ever fully in control.

“And then they just continued pressing on in that same style in the second and we just struggled to get to the net first.

“And ultimately, we were always giving the attack away and eventually against top players like that they’re going to get through you.

“It’s really disappointing, but hats off to them, they played a really good match.”

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