Mixed emotions for Westwood on All England bow in Birmingham

Emily Westwood and mixed doubles partner Harley Towler in action at the Yonex All England Championships. Picture (c) Badminton Photo
Emily Westwood and mixed doubles partner Harley Towler in action at the Yonex All England Championships. Picture (c) Badminton Photo

Hemel Hempstead’s Emily Westwood admits it is a case of mixed emotions after crashing out of the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships.

Westwood and mixed doubles partner Harley Towler recorded a 14-21, 21-14, 21-17 victory over Japanese duo Keigo Sonoda and Reika Kakiiwa at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.

The British pair then gave the experienced Korean team of Sol Kyu Choi and Yoo Jung Chae a real run for their money before ultimately succumbing 21-17, 21-18 to narrowly miss out on qualifying for the main draw.

At one point Chae required a medical timeout for an apparent hip problem in that second encounter and, while she was delighted with their afternoon’s work, Westwood admitted it felt like a missed opportunity against the Koreans.

“I didn’t expect to win our first game, so I’m over the moon – we played really well in the second and third sets,” said Westwood.

“It’s a really positive thing that we managed to adapt our game within the matches – the coaches always want us to listen to them in terms of in-game tactics and I think we did that really well.

“In the second match, I thought we were in it in both sets but then they just managed to get little runs of points to win the first.

“Then we were just getting going in the second and Chae had a medical timeout because of her hip or something, so that kind of upset the rhythm I think.

“We should still have been able to keep it there though – it’s disappointing but we’ve got a lot to learn I suppose.

“I think we’ll watch it back, assess what went wrong, where the changes in momentum were and things like that. Then we’ll learn from this and move forward.”

With a busy calendar of events in the near future, Westwood will have plenty of opportunity to build on the promising foundations she laid at the All Englands.

Despite potentially travelling the world to play tournaments, the Brit may struggle to find a more vocal, partisan crowd than the one at the Barclaycard Arena.

And as her partnership with Towler continues to go from strength to strength, Westwood says their attentions will now turn to Switzerland.

“We’ve got the Swiss Open next week – we’re in the main draw for that, so hopefully we’ll perform well again,” she added.

“We’ve got an okay draw and we need to play well to win but hopefully we’ll be fine.”

Tickets for the Yonex All England 2015 at the stunning new Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham are available on the door or online at allenglandbadminton.com.