Marcus Ellis and Lauren smith (England) win their first title at Dutch Open 2017 (Photo: Badminton Europe)
First tournament victory for Ellis and Smith
Date: 10/15/2017 9:48 AM
Published by : Mireille Daal Van
Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith (England) succeeded to win the mixed doubles final of the Dutch Open. In two convincing sets they were too strong for home favourites Jacco Arends and Selena Piek. 

This is the first tournament win for Ellis and Smith since coming together at the beginning of this year. Winning the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 is the main goal for the English pair. Until then, tournaments need to be played and their ranking and game need to be increased. 

Like many other players, Ellis and Smith are currently playing the four tournaments streak of the Dutch-Denmark-French and Bittburger Open. Now the first of four tournaments is finished and has given Ellis and Smith more confidence for the upcoming tournaments. 

‘This is the best preparation we could have!’ Ellis commented to Badminton Europe after winning the final. ‘Playing the final here at the Dutch Open also provides a lot of opportunities for next week’ Ellis stated. In the first round of the Denmark Open, starting Tuesday, they will face Malaysian pair Chan/Goh. 

‘Quicker on court’
As for their tournament run in the Dutch Open, Smith stated: ‘we proved ourselves positively’. ‘We knew we could win the tournament if we played well, but also could be kicked out in first or second round if we did not. The competing pairs in Dutch Open had quite similar level so we know we had to be focused every round’ Smith added. 

Ellis complemented his partner ‘That is another reason why the Dutch Open was a good preparation for us. We had to be sharp every round’. Also the final showed that this mind set was needed. Beforehand they knew that Arends and Piek would be tough players to beat and playing a solid game. ‘But we also knew that we are quicker on court when playing our best’. 

During the game they were constantly leading in both sets. ‘It was more about what we were going to do, even when they were coming back in the game. Then we had to change our mind set again and finish of the rallies as we should’ Ellis and Smith commented. 

The mixed doubles final has of course been disappointing for Dutch pair Arends and Piek. ‘There was such a good atmosphere in the hall and we really wanted to win in front of our home audience. That is why it is unfortunate we did not win, but Ellis and Smith were playing better today’ Arends commented after the match.

Hat trick for Zhang, third win for Momota
Beiwen Zhang (USA) won the Dutch Open for the third time. In a 32 minute match she was too strong for Michelle Li (Canada). Kento Momota played a solid game against fellow countryman Yu Igarashi. He seems to get closer to his old level by winning his third title after his forced layoff.

The women’s doubles was an Indonesian final between world no. 16 Awanda/Istrana and former no. 6 Pradipta and her partner Haris. Experienced Pradipta and Haris were too strong for their compatriots and took the Dutch Open title. As for now, the Indonesians are experimenting with partnerships, so it is unsure how long Pradipta and Haris will still play together.

Lastly, the final day ended with the men’s doubles between Liao/Su from Chinese Taipei, who beat three European couples on their way to the final, and Inoue/Kaneko from Japan. Liao and Su seemed to grow with every match in the tournament and were on the last day also too strong for the Japanese pair.

An overview of the Matches
Mixed doubles
Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith (England) vs Jacco Arends/Selena Piek (Netherlands):  21-17 21-18
Women’s doubles
Della Destiara Haris/Rizki Amerlia Pradipta (Indonesia) vs Anggia Shitta Awanda/Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani (Indonesia): 21-17 21-16
Men’s singles
Kento Momota (Japan) vs Yu Igarashi (Japan): 21-10 21-12
Women’s singles
Beiwen Zhang (USA) vs Michelle Li (Canada): 21-16 21-14
Men’s doubles
Liao Min Chun/Cheng Heng Su (Chinese Taipei) vs Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko (Japan): 24-22 21-18

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