HAFIZ CLEARS FIRST HURDLE

Former All England champion Muhd Hafiz Hashim cleared his first hurdle in the qualifying rounds of the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham this morning.
Hafiz, who won the All England in 2003, defeated Chan Yan Kit 21-11,21-15 and will now take on the winner of the match between Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand and Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. They will play at 11.45am UK time.

Marcus Ellis & Heather Olver (England) bt Tan Aik Quan & Lai Pei Jing  (Malaysia) 22-20, 21-23, 21-14

Duration – 55 minutes

Marcus – “Really happy, this is the biggest tournament of the calendar year for us and it’s nice to get back to winning ways because a few months ago we were struggling for form. A really promising performance that and if we play like that we have a chance against anyone who’s playing here.”

Heather – “This is our first All England together, just making it through to the main is quite a big achievement. All the best players in the world are here so obviously we want to get through so we can keep playing these players, getting that good experience.

After just missing out on winning the second set: Heather – “They had the momentum in their favour and that showed at the beginning of the third set where we went five-love down. I’m not too sure how we managed to get it back and win quite comfortably at the end but I’m really pleased.

Marcus – “It’s a confidence knock when you’ve had a really close game which you probably should have won and then to come out again and try and win the next game is always tough. But we managed to pull it back and in the end we ended up dominating the set.”