London 2012 - Brilliant Adcock shrugs off tweeting spat

Thu, 08 Mar 02:15:00 2012

Top doubles player Chris Adcock shrugged off a tweeting spat involving his playing partner and his girlfriend with two brilliant victories at the All England badminton championships.

2011 BADMINTON Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier of Great Britain - 0

Adcock and men's doubles partner Andy Ellis came from behind to beat unseeded Indonesian duo Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Hendra Aprida Gunawan in three games and advance to the second round.

Later he teamed up with mixed doubles partner Imogen Bankier to beat world champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, also in three games, earning revenge for their loss to the Chinese in the world championships final last August at the Wembley Arena.

Adcock used to be the playing partner in mixed doubles of his girlfriend Gabby White but a coaches' decision in 2010 paired him with Bankier.

Since then the duo have flourished and Wednesday's victory at such a high profile tournament saw them reach new heights.

However, tension had emerged last month with the disclosure of tweets sent during the English national championships when Bankier, a Scot, tweeted: "Why can English people not serve?"

In reply, White's women's doubles partner Jenny Wallwork suggested Bankier should return to Scotland, prompting a riposte from Bankier that such a jibe was neither intelligent nor original.

Wallwork confirmed on Wednesday that the three women had since made up.

She told reporters after a first-round mixed doubles victory with partner Nathan Robertson: "It was really light-hearted banter between me and Imogen that got taken too far.

"It started as a joke, then people took it quite seriously. We're all fine now."

Adcock said of the decision to team him up with Bankier: "It was all about getting the best out of GB (Great Britain) Badminton. We ended up with three world-class pairs in the top 20 and I don't know how anyone can complain about that."

Meanwhile, titleholder Lee Chong Wei eased into the second round but refused to get carried away.

On a marathon day of first round action, the Malaysian world number one beat unseeded Chinese Wang Zhengming 21-16 21-11 to line up a match with talented Dane Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.

Chong Wei said: "In last week's German Open he did quite well and he's beaten (German Open finalist) Simon Santoso here. So it won't be an ordinary game."

Chong Wei is seeking a third All England title in a row but as ever he will need to get past his old nemesis Lin Dan, the Olympic and world champion.

Lin, four-times an All England winner, was due to kick off his quest for a fifth title with a match against India's Ajay Jayaram.

But with the first day schedule running at least three hours late after a glut of three-set matches, play was not expected to finish until well after midnight after starting in the morning.

Lin's compatriot Chen Long, seeded three, was stretched for a time by Tommy Sugiarto, son of 1983 world champion Icuk Sugiarto, but the Indonesian had to retire hurt with an injured foot with the scores level at one set apiece.

It was possibly a relief for Chen who was beaten by Guatemalan outsider Kevin Cordon in the first round of the world championships at Wembley Arena last August.

Cordon could not repeat his giant-killing in Birmingham, beaten 25-23 21-17 by ex-Olympic and world champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia.

Reuters

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