(Photo: Badminton Photo)
The successful surprise return of Lefel and Tran
Date: 10/14/2020 6:16 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The accomplished French women’s doubles pair of Emilie Lefel/ Anne Tran were at one point no more, following the unfortunate retirement of Lefel, but here they are winning at the Denmark Open. 

At the French Open last year was the last time we saw the pair in action. Following a serious injury to Lefel, the Olympic dream dwindled and subsequently, it was decided that Tran focused on her mixed doubles with Ronan Labar. However, with the extended pause in the tournament calendar, Lefel was able to recover and see her road to Tokyo reappear in front of her. 

-It is good thing for me to be here today. To be honest I did not know if I can come back. So today I enjoyed my first match on my return. It was a good match, a little bit under pressure, but also an exciting one, Lefel said.

Lefel and Tran played Danish pair Amalie Cecilie Kudsk and Signe Schulz. The opening game went to the local favourites in quick fashion, 21-13, but the 2018 European Championship silver medallists we able to mirror the score in the second game in their favour.

-It is very hard in this hall because the shuttle is a bit slow and hard to control, but I am happy that we found the rhythm in the second set. I think in the third one there was more pressure, but we were able to manage it. It was hard to adapt at the beginning, but we found our game in the end, Tran explained. 

A bit tricky
The deciding game really got the minimised crowd going and generating some noise, as we saw Kudsk/ Schulz somehow claw their way back from being four match points down. As Tran admits. 

-It was a bit tricky at 20-20. We had four chances and we did not take them, so we were a bit nervous, but we tried to step up together and keep on doing what we were working towards. We succeeded and we are very happy about this. 

The number eight seeds were finally able to put the game to bed, 22-20, to advance to the next round. Although the pair are not trying to think too far ahead, as Lefel states. 

-We expect to stay focused match by match in order to do our best. It has been a difficult period for all of us, so we try to find the good games and good match. 

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