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All of a sudden, the mixed draw has been blown wide open
Date: 3/12/2020 6:06 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Home favourites Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith are having a terrific time in Birmingham this week, as they booked their spot in the quarterfinals. 

They faced the number four seeds and former All England champions, Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, and entertained the crowds with a promising 21-15, 21-10 win. The Japanese pair are blessed with great speed and deception, but the English pair, in their first encounter, had the answer. Smith after the match explained what that was. 

-My answer was Marcus’ speed. We did well today as we made the court quite big for them. We didn’t get into a hard-fast small court game, so we used the back corners and laid it off in front of them. This made them work quite hard. They pick up shots more than other pairs do because of their speed, but we were patient in what we were doing and persisted with our tactic. 

Just before we came on court
The All England is certainly a special occasion, but for an English pair, it is that much more of a big deal, as Ellis states. 

-It is a privilege to get to the last stages of any tournament, but this is the All England. We have beaten the number four seeds, so it has potentially opened up a hole in the draw. Just before we came on court, the number one seeds lost, so all of a sudden, the mixed draw has been blown wide open. 

There have been some surprise results in the mixed doubles this week, and with Ellis and Smith making such short work of their opponents, Ellis comments on whether it could be their year. 

-I certainly hope so, but I am not thinking forward to Sunday or anything like that. I am very happy with the way we have played the last two days, and if we continue it, I do not see why we cannot challenge every single pair here.  

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