Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith at the European Games (photo credit: Badminton Photo)

First 2020 final for European Games winners

1/25/2020 9:35 AM | |  Maria Bubucea
Semifinal day at Thailand Masters 2020 brings Europe a spot in Sunday's final.

England’s Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith are in a fierce battle for a spot at the Tokyo Olympic Games with their compatriots Chris and Gabby Adcock, and in this week’s Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters in Bangkok, they have taken a big step towards becoming Great Britain’s representatives in Tokyo.

The winners of the 2019 European Games have dropped to number 13 in the world, one position lower than the Adcocks, but today they proved that they are back at their top level, as they managed to reach the final in Thailand.

In Saturday’s semifinal, they were up against third-seeded Goh Soon Huat / Lai Shevon Jemie from Malaysia, and after a nail-biting encounter, they were victorious with the close score of 19-21, 21-19, 24-22. In the final game, both pairs had match points before the English pair finally managed to take home the spot in the final. In Sunday’s final they will be up against fourth-seeded Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja from Indonesia.

Spanish superstar out in the semifinal
Spain’s Carolina Marin has had three busy weeks, reaching the weekend matches in all three of them. First, she managed to reach a semi-final at the Malaysia Masters before losing to the eventual winner, Chen Yu Fei from China, and last week she went all the way to the final at the Indonesia Masters where she lost out to Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in a close three-games match. 

This week she has yet again proven that she is back where she belongs, amongst the best in the world. She reached the final-four again, this time up against Japan’s fighter, Akane Yamaguchi. Marin took an early lead and managed to win the opening game convincingly 21-14. In the game it was Yamaguchi who had the upper-hand, but after being down 13-19, Marin suddenly won seven points in a row, earning her the first match point. Unfortunately, she did not manage to take advantage of it. It was the same again for a second match point. Yamaguchi on the other hand only needed one chance to win the game, and she forced the match into a third game winning the game 24-22.

In the third and deciding game, it was the 22-year-old Japanese star who was in the lead all the way, and after a hard-fought 78 minutes match, she booked her spot in Sunday’s final against Korea’s super-talent An Se Young.

Click here to see all results from the semifinals of the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters.

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