Sean Vendy’s dream debut at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships may have ended in disappointment but the Milton Keynes teenager is expecting big things from his new partnership with Peter Mills.
Vendy used to attend the prestigious competition as a youngster and has gone full circle as Tuesday saw him signing autographs for adoring fans.
The 19-year-old was given a baptism of fire in his YONEX All England debut as it was also his first game alongside Mills, who is a double Commonwealth Games medallist from 2014.
The English duo were handed a favourable draw against France’s Bastian Kersaudy and Gaëtan Mittelheisser but ended up losing 21-16, 21-14.
Vendy said: “The overriding feeling is disappointment but there is also frustration because we know we can play better than that.
“It is not even that we were outplayed, some of the crucial last shots of the rally we made errors even though we were on top of the rally.
“It is my first YONEX All England so I was not expecting massive things but with a good draw, it is a bit disappointing.
“We are a new partnership so we are getting used to each other but I’m excited to be playing with Pete because he is an experienced player and I am still and up-and-comer and still learning.
“I am going to take as much as I can from his knowledge and see how we get on.
“It feels like we were chucked in the deep end a little bit as a partnership but I don’t think it is a bad thing and even how we played, we can take things from it and going into the Swiss Open next week, we will not be negative or disappointed and we have to take what we can from the YONEX All England.”
The competition sees the world’s best players descend upon the United Kingdom and it is the highlight of the sporting calendar for most British players.
Thousands of fans from across the country, and further afield, pack into Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena to cheer on their favourite players from across the globe.
And Vendy, a former Walton High School pupil, added: “I used to come here as a kid so I knew what to expect in the sense that the crowd would be big and would be behind us.
“But coming out I was a bit shocked because I have not played in front of that many people that many times and I was just trying to focus on playing and not worrying about the crowd or venue.
“It means a lot to be playing in this competition because growing up in England as a kid, this is the one you want to play in.
“Playing here for my first time was a really good experience.”
Watch the world’s best players at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena from 8-13 March. For tickets visit allenglandbadminton.com