Alex Dunn and Adam Hall scored one of the best wins in their burgeoning partnership today to reach the second round of the TOTAL BWF World Championships in Nanjing, China.
They advanced courtesy of a 12-21 21-17 21-19 win in 54-minutes over Chinese Taipei’s Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han, a former top 10 pairing who are currently ranked 20 in the world.
Having been outplayed in the first game, Dunn and Hall were also trailing 15-10 in the second before an inspired comeback saw them win eleven of the next thirteen points to level the contest before winning a tight third game to secure victory.
Having missed out on the opportunity to qualify for Glasgow 2017, this was the first time the Scots had competed in a world championships and Dunn admitted nerves had played a part.
“Especially for me, I think the nerves in the first set made it hard. It’s our first world championships so I was a bit shaky and obviously they are a strong pair so it’s hard to keep up when you’re not playing your best.
“But in the second set we got into it and though the third set was obviously quite tight we managed to close out the win.”
Although nerves had contributed to their slow start, once the match had turned it was the less experienced Scottish pair who seemed to have the most composure.
“We just lost our focus a little bit at the start of the third set and we were a bit down at the turn at 11-7” said Hall “but they got a bit shaky in the second set when it got close so we knew if we got level with them again that we would probably be the stronger pair going into the final points and that proved to be right.
“To be honest I didn’t expect to win so to be up in the third set was almost like a bonus. So I didn’t really feel nervous and I just kept playing one point at a time.”
In addition to overcoming the anxieties of competing in their first world championships, the Scots also overcame a less than perfect preparation period.
“I picked up a bit of a wrist injury so I wasn’t sure if I was even going to play” said Dunn.
“I had a couple of weeks out just doing a bit of physio on my wrist and I was only hitting once or twice a week prior to coming, so not a lot of preparation.
“But it seems to have worked out ok and we’re happy to be in the next round.”
Hall continued: “We’ve not had the best preparation coming into this and we’ve had a couple of injuries over the last few weeks so we came in with the plan of just relaxing and just playing our game rather than playing to their game.
“They are a very good pair, a former world top 10 pair, so we did know them a little bit but we went in with the feeling of trying to be relaxed and it worked.”
The reward for today’s win for Dunn and Hall is a tie tomorrow against another pair from Chinese Taipei, eleventh seeds Liao Min Chun and Su Ching Heng.
Results, draws and live scores are at www.tournamentsoftware.com
Live streaming from courts 1 & 2 at www.BadmintonWorld.tv