Olympian Chris Adcock breezed through the first round of the YONEX All England Open alongside wife Gabby to set up an all-English tie in the next round.
The 29-year-old Yorkshire shuttler who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic forms England’s No.1 mixed doubles pairing and the Adcocks lived up to that billing in their home tournament, beating Chen Tang Jie and Peck Yen Wei 21-16 21-18.
The English duo were barely troubled in the first game and saw off a brief defiant spell from the Malaysian pairing in the second to coast through in 36 minutes.
“I thought we were pretty solid,” said Chris Adcock. “The Malaysians we played are a very young pair and they showed glimpses of stuff but we maintained our level and they were up and down.
“We managed the game well and I think it’s the first round you want, not really straightforward but straightforward enough that you get a good feel and that you feel good after.”
The Adcocks reached the quarter-finals of the tournament this time last year and were hindered with Gabby not fully back to fitness after an injury, but are more prepared this time around.
Gabby added: “It’s not been the most straightforward preparation for both of us but we’re happy that we’re here and playing and we have got some good training in, we’re just excited to be out on court again.”
The result means that there will definitely be English representation in the quarter-finals after Ben Lane and Jess Pugh also qualified from the first round to be drawn against the Adcocks – with Chris looking forward to Thursday’s match-up.
He added: “We know Ben (Lane) and Jess (Pugh) really well and they had a really good win against the Germans (Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler), they’ve not beaten them before.
“But it’s always fun being on court and it guarantees an English quarter-final so I think it’s great.
“The home crowds always get you going a bit more here. You walk out when your name’s called and there’s a really big cheer so it’s always nice playing here and we do feel at home so it’s a real positive.”
The 2019 YONEX All England – Badminton’s Greatest Show on the sport’s world tour – will wow fans at Arena Birmingham, 6-10 March. For tickets and information, visit www.allenglandbadminton.com or search All England tickets.