Photo: Badmintonphoto
Gregory Mairs: We are not there yet
Date: 5/1/2020 9:09 AM
Published by : Emilie Sommer (BEC)

Gregory Mairs, 25, plays both mixed doubles and men’s doubles and has had some different partners in both categories, but now it seems like both partnerships are set. 

About a year ago he partnered up with Victoria Williams in the mixed doubles. They have made some good results already with winning Slovenia International in 2019 and also reaching some semifinals and quarterfinals along the way. 

- There have been a few changes in partnerships over the years but now both of my partnerships are set, and I am looking to try to achieve some good results in these! Estonia IS in 2019 was a strange tournament because me and Viki only played with each other neither of us had a partner and we ended up getting to the final beating some good pairs along the way! Despite having trained with each other a lot in the past I don't think we had actually been on the same side of the court until this tournament! I had also just had a longer Christmas break than usual to let my body and mainly my mind recover from a busy September-December period. It just shows that sometimes when you have not pressure or expectations you can play free and perform well! And yes, I think me and Viki doing well in Estonia and then winning Slovenia IS helped this decision as it showed our styles could suit each other. 

Different stages of the career

With two top mixed doubles above them, the Adcocks and Ellis/Smith, who are fighting for the Olympic spot, it is quite different to be a pair ranked 67 in the World and not be anywhere near an Olympic spot for now.

- We are of course in a completely different situation to those guys. Not only are we in different stages of our careers but also, we have never even considered 2020 Olympics. They are both around the top 10 mark and capable of beating anyone on a good day! Realistically we are not there yet! Because of this we have different tournament programs and our lives are very different! There's not much money in badminton if you're not right at the top so we're having to do part-time jobs alongside our weekly training and competition schedule just to be able to keep on playing! 

Even though the two top pairs are in a different stage of their careers compared to Williams and Mairs, they can use each other to learn new things and help each other to improve all the time. But how far are Williams and Mairs actually from the two top pairs?

- Technically there are still lots of things we need to work on but we are lucky to be training with these guys every day so we can learn from what they are doing and try to incorporate elements into our game. The main thing is about bringing our best level consistently because at the moment we can bring a good level for maybe a set but to be at the top it is about producing this quality almost every point, match after match! 

The leading European mixed doubles nation?

With Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith ranked as number 9 and Chris and Gabrielle Adcock ranked as number 13 in the World Ranking, the two highest ranked European mixed doubles pairs come from England. Commenting on if England is the leading European mixed doubles nation, Mairs says. 

- I definitely think we have the best 2 pairs in Europe at the moment and hopefully we will continue to be successful in the future! Having said this, Denmark, Germany, France and Holland all have 2 strong pairs who are capable of beating the best in the world! The improvements of the Germans, French and Dutch over the last year means we need to keep pushing to stay ahead of them, at the moment this advantage is shown by having a pair ranked 9th and 13th in the world rankings! We all know that Denmark have a great system with lots of experience and knowledge in their setup so they will always be fighting to be at the top of the mixed game too. 

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