Photo: Sven Heise

BEC Time Travel: SaarLorLux 2018

10/26/2020 3:02 PM | |  Rasmus Bech(BEC)

Tomorrow the SaarLorLux Open kicks off. Despite of the Covid-19 situation the tournament is taking place, and today Badminton Europe looks back at previous editions of the tournament. Today we will be taking a look at the 2018 edition featuring the winner Marcus Ellis.

A busy 2018 for Marcus Ellis was about to enter the last months when he boarded the plane to Saarbrücken in the western part of Germany to play the SaarLorLux Open, formerly known as the Bitburger Open. The English doubles specialist had participated in three tournaments in a row winning the Dutch Open mixed doubles title, and reaching the men’s doubles semifinals at the Denmark Open and the quarterfinals in the mixed doubles at the French Open just three days before the German tournament kicked off.

- The SaarLorLux Open is always at a point in the calendar where we question whether or not to play because there are so many tournaments in a row. But we pride ourselves on being resilient players, so we see it as an opportunity as every other player is also feeling the same, Marcus Ellis stated. 

Tricky Dutch

Ellis and Chris Langridge entered the tournament as the third seeds, while Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis were the top seeds in the mixed doubles. 

The English men’s doubles got three easy wins in the first three matches before facing Dutch pair Jelle Maas/ Robin Tabeling, the second seeds, in the semifinals. After a thrilling match-up the English clinched the spot in the final winning 21-17 21-19.

- I remember the match against the Dutch guys very well. At the time they were playing some of their highest-level badminton, so it was always going to be a tough match. I think in the end, the difference was how we played the important parts of the match. Maybe some experience showed there, Ellis remembered.

Thrilling final

23-21 21-18 21-19. If you as a spectator watched the men’s doubles final at the SaarLorLux Open 2018, it is for sure a match-up you remember. 

Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge faced the young Malaysian duo, Aaron Chia/ Wooi Yik Soh in the final. The English won the first game, while the Malaysian won the second. The third game went to the English, and the Olympic bronze medallists from the Rio Olympics still remember the final game of the match.

- The final was a game of ups and downs. We were so far up in the first set and after losing it, we felt frustrated so to come back from that disappointment was the key for that match. The third set I remember being point for point, and in the end I think either pair could have won, Ellis said.

Winning the SaarLorLux Open men’s doubles titles secured the third title for Ellis and Langridge, who earlier in 2018 also claimed the Commonwealth as well as the Canada Open titles.

Europe vs. Europe

In the men’s doubles, it was three easy wins and then two tough matches for Marcus Ellis. In the mixed doubles category, nothing was easy for them But leaving Germany with just one title was not a topic at that point for the 29-year old Englishmen.

After a walkover in the first round, Ellis and Smith faced two of the biggest mixed doubles talents in Europe, French pair  Delphine Delrue/ Thom Gicquel, in the second round of the tournament. After losing the first game 21-14, the Dutch Open winners won the second and the third games (21-18 21-16), securing a spot in the quarterfinals, where the Irish siblings, Chloe and Sam Magee, were the opponents.

The English in another three-games thriller defeated the Irish 21-14 18-21 21-11, before facing another top European pair, Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler of Germany in the semifinal.

- There were no easy matches and fighting through fatigue after some long successful weeks in the Dutch, Denmark and French Opens was definitely a challenge, Ellis mentioned.

Chinese in the final

Smith and Ellis overcame the Germans in straight games 21-14 21-19, and on the finals day, the last “bump” on the way to the title was a Chinese pair.

- The final was again a real rollercoaster. I remember myself and Lauren having a small argument in the earlier part of the match and that just seemed to make us fight harder to get back into the match. We stole the second game from them, and the third game was one-way momentum for us, Ellis said. The English pair won the title beating Lu Kai/ Chen Lu 19-21 21-18 21-10

- For sure it is a game we look back on, as our never give up attitude paid off. 

2018 was a good year

The title was the third of the year for Smith and Ellis, who the Canada Open and Dutch Open, before receiving the gold medals in Saarbrücken.


- I think that part of the year in 2018 was very good for both men’s doubles and mixed doubles. Once you start winning consistently, it gives you confidence and often you can ride the wave for some time, Ellis stated 

The SaarLorLux Open titles were not the last for Marcus Ellis in 2018. But that… is another story.

Winners of the SaarLorLux Open 2018

MS: Subhankar Dey (India)

WS: Cai Yanyan (China)

MD: Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge (England)

WD: Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva (Bulgaria)

XD: Lauren Smith/Marcus Ellis (England)

See the full draw here 


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