A new season and new focus for Ellis & Wallwork
Date: 9/1/2012 11:00 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

The main rounds kicked off at the Polish Open today with much of the focus on the new partnership of Andy Ellis and Jenny Wallwork (pictured) in the mixed doubles. It was a very early start for the new English pairing and they quickly got off the mark with an easy two game win over Welsh pair Gwilt and Thomas.

“I normally don’t do early starts but today it worked and it was good to get off the mark early as it gives us an indication as to where we are with our game” said Ellis after the 9am opening match of the day. The English pair, who both missed out on the Olympics in agonising circumstances, looked fresh and ready for the challenges that lie ahead and it was clear from their first round victory that the work they have put in over the summer has started to pay off.

“The Olympic disappointment is firmly behind us now and we have worked really hard over the summer to adapt to each other and be ready for this tournament and the tough schedule ahead over the coming months” said a happy Wallwork to Badminton Europe.

The English pair followed up their first round win with a demolition of second seeds Bitman and Basova in two games 21-11 21-12 to advance to the quarter finals and their game looks in the kind of shape that will have them in the medal mix come Sunday afternoon.

“We have a tough tournament schedule ahead of us now and a good run here will certainly give us confidence. We will be around the European circuit a lot for the remainder of this year hopefully gathering points before a step up to Super Series” commented Ellis.

Team England had a pretty decent day all round and through Riou Panuga caused the biggest upset after the English girl defeated second seed, and one of Europe’s brightest singles talents, Nicolle Schaller from Switzerland.
Schaller looked extremely comfortable in her first round game and felt good after a hard summers work in preparation for the new season.  “I have been doing lot of upper body work over the summer break to help develop my power and improve my smash” said Schaller.

But the Swiss athlete came up against an equally powerful opponent in the shape of Panuga in the second round and the English girl advanced to the quarter finals in three games.

The introduction of Delphine Lansac into top flight senior tournament play looks to have been an enlightened decision by the French federation as the teenage French girl looked completely at home on the senior courts as she advanced through to the quarter finals. Of course Poland has been a happy hunting ground for Lansac as she is the current holder of the Polish junior International.

In the men’s singles Kestutis Navickas made his long awaited comeback after almost nine months on the sidelines through injury and the Lithuanian was quickly off the mark with a pair of wins to justify his top seeding.
“It has been a long hard road for me but right now all I am doing is looking forward. The break away has actually made me hungrier for the game and it felt good to be back in action today with no bad effects in my ankle” said a happy Navickas to Badminton Europe.

In the most bizarre game of the day, Estonia’s Laura Vana clocked up a 21-8 21-0 win in her second round match over Gabija Narvilaitein what was a baptism of fire for the young Lithuanian. “That was my first ever game to win 21-0 and I think I broke her mentally very early” commented Vana.

For all the results from day 1 of the Polish Open click HERE.
For live facebook photo gallery click HERE
TO review and watch all today’s matches and interviews on BEtv click HERE.

Article and image by Mark Phelan (Live in Lubin)

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