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(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Ellis/ Smith through to their second consecutive semifinal
Date: 3/19/2021 10:26 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith have a chance at making history for England at their home event tomorrow. Getting there required a lot of mental strength.
 
Marcus Ellis/ Lauren Smith faced another tricky Danish combination for the first time. It was world number nines against the world number 92 pair of Mikkel Mikkelsen/ Rikke Søby. 

The English pair were never comfortable throughout but managed to grind through and win 22-20 21-19.

-I don't think we played our best today. Mentally we were really, really tough. We were down in the first game and we weren't flowing like we normally do but actually, we really stuck our heels in and made it hard for them [Mikkelsen/Søby]. Even when they had opportunities in the first game, they knew it was going to be hard so that's a credit to our mentality. So, it's not the best performance, but it's enough, Smith said. 

Explaining why they may have struggled through their quarterfinal, Ellis stated.

-Usually, we'd have had loads of tournaments between the two All England Open's but this one feels like one of our first tournaments, so maybe our confidence isn't at 100 per cent, but I think we're getting there. It's taken a lot of grit and determination but we're very, very happy to be in the semifinal. We have a great opportunity against the Japanese tomorrow.

For Mikkel Mikkelsen/Rikke Søby, there almost was no quarterfinal at all!

-We had a bad start because Rikke twisted her ankle before the match and we used about 40 minutes to see if she could even play, so she did a fantastic job of just playing today so a lot of credit to her, Mikkelsen explained. 

-We will look back at our tournament with confidence, he added. 

A privilege
Ellis/ Smith play 2018 All England champions, Yuta Watanabe/ Arisa Higashino, for the right to enter the final. If successful, they would emulate one of their coaches Anthony Clark, who was the last to make the final in the mixed doubles in 2006 with Donna Kellogg. 

-It's a privilege every time I step on court here. Okay, we don't have the crowd here which does make a difference. To reach the latter stages, I think it's amazing and one of those things that we'll remember when we retire that it was one of our best tournaments. We just hope that we can go further this year, Ellis stated. 

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