Chris and Gabby Adcock have their eyes on a cut of $1 million at the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals this week.
Badminton’s golden couple and Commonwealth gold medallists are in contention for the mixed doubled title, pitting the eight best pairs in the world against each other.
On Monday morning, the pair were drawn in Group A along with China’s world number one pair Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na and Germany’s Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels.
They will also be playing for a share of a million dollar jackpot over the five disciplines.
The Milton Keynes-based pair finished third in their group in the BWF finals in Malaysia last year, just failing to reach the semi-finals when they lost their deciding rubber.
But the world number six duo are adamant that they can go one better at badminton’s year-end showpiece at the state-of-the-art Hamdan Sports Complex after finishing their first full year as a partnership.
“It has been a really tough year, but in a great way,” said Chris. “The highlights would have to be winning the Swiss Open against a truly world-class field.
“The Commonwealths Games were then a dream come true for us. It is one of those events you grow up watching and it’s one we have always wanted to win. It was a special two weeks.
“More recently, reaching the French Open final and the Hong Kong Open semi-final was a good run for us. But winning the Commonwealth gold will be tough to top.”
The mixed doubles has a spread of countries competing, with only China fielding two pairs. Denmark’s defending champions, Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen, qualified in seventh place, one place behind the Adcocks.
“If you lose a match you still have a great chance of qualifying so it can be a real rollercoaster,” said Chris.
“It will be an interesting week. There has never been a major tournament there before and it will be up to the locals to decide who they want to get behind during the week. It’s exciting times.”
“We are really looking forward to getting out there and experiencing it,” added Gabby.
Zhang and Zhao, the world and Olympic champions, will be favourites to lift the Dubai title, but the Adcocks believe that every pair has a fighting chance of glory.
“The mixed doubles hasn’t been completely dominated this year,” said Chris.
“The world number one pair have set themselves apart, but there have been times when they have lost.
“They can be beaten and we have won against them before.”