Chris and Gabby Adcock fell to an agonising defeat at the YONEX All England Championships on Saturday as Joachim Nielsen and Christinna Pederson of Denmark advanced to Sunday’s mixed doubles final.
In front of a sell out Barclaycard Arena, the married couple looked set to take the match into a decider but the Danish fifth seeds saved five game points in the second before winning 21-13, 22-20.
“It is hard to take right now,” said Chris. “We found our game and dominated the second but we are gutted that we couldn’t push on.”
Gabby added: “It’s a sore feeling right now. I felt like I was reading her flicks but she changed and made it more deceptive. It’s frustrating but all credit to them.”
Having beaten Indonesian rivals and former champions Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad in the last eight, the Adcocks’ confidence had been boosted significantly as they reached the last four for the last time.
The Superseries Finals’ champions had lost in their previous two meetings with Neilsen and Pederson. Both pairs had yet to drop a set this week, yet the English number one’s had grown in confidence and stature through the rounds.
However the Danes started well on Saturday, winning the mid-court exchanges before the Adcocks racked up five successive points to give themselves a chance.
It was a little too late but, in the second, the Adcocks pushed on superbly and found success with the Neilsen serve. At 19-11 up, a decider was beckoning but the Danes edged back and soon leveled.
They won the match with the rally of the contest, the shuttle going to all corners before the Danes fell flat on their backs as they secured their place in the final.
“The slow start cost us, but there are things to improve on,” Gabby admitted. “We are far from finished players and we’ve beaten the best. We are aged 25 and 26 and have so much experience in the bank already.”
Neilsen and Pederson, aiming to win Denmark’s first mixed title since 1995, said: “We’ve watched the All England on television back home for as long as I can remember. It means a lot to reach the final as we’ve tried for many years.”
Eurosport are broadcasting the 2016 YONEX All England. Schedule and info here