All England Open loss a chance to grow for Russ
A difficult YONEX All England defeat is an opportunity to improve for Zach Russ after he and partner Rory Easton were knocked out by the number four seeds in Birmingham.
The young English duo were given a tough draw against the Japanese pair Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe in the Super 1000 showpiece, falling 21-4, 21-9 in the men’s doubles.
The 21-year-old from Haywards Heath insists there are plenty of lessons they can take from the defeat on home soil, especially playing in foreign conditions.
“It was totally different [playing in an arena],” said Russ.
“We train in a very small hall compared to this and it is almost a totally different sport. You can’t play the same type of badminton and can’t play certain shots.
“There’s a lot of things today we struggled with but our opponents were at a different level from us. A lot of things to learn and reflect on.”
The All England, one of only three Super 1000 tournaments on the BWF World Tour, was one of the last sporting events to be staged before Covid-19 struck last March.
Russ and Easton had only started training together in January and will now look to next week’s Orléans Masters in Paris to bounce back from their disappointment.
Nevertheless, the honour of playing in this week’s iconic tournament is not lost on Russ.
“This is our first tournament together and we played a really good team in a really big arena,” continued Russ. “It is definitely going to be one to remember in the future as our first match.
“It means a lot to play here. I’ve been coming to this tournament since I was eight years old. This is a huge deal playing here, especially as English players.
“We hope to be able to make some memories here which are a bit better than today.”
Following a tough year for everyone, the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships marks the first step in inspiring people to get back on court as soon as they can.
For more information for the badminton community, visit badmintonengland.co.uk/return-to-playJACOB NEWBURY, SPORTSBEAT