Emily vows to bounce back following Open exit

Emily Westwood in action at the Yonex All England Badminton Championships. Picture (c) Raphael Sachetat/Badmintonphoto
Emily Westwood in action at the Yonex All England Badminton Championships. Picture (c) Raphael Sachetat/Badmintonphoto

Flamstead’s Emily Westwood has vowed to use the disappointment from her Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships exit as motivation to ensure she reaches the first round of the prestigious competition next year.

The Yonex All England sees the world’s best players descend upon the United Kingdom and is the highlight of the sporting calendar for most British players.

Thousands of fans from across the country, and further afield, pack into Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena to cheer on their favourite players from across the globe.

But Westwood’s second experience of the competition ended badly as she and her mixed doubles partner Matthew Nottingham exited at the first qualifying round stage on Tuesday following their 21-12, 21-13 defeat to Korea’s Yoo Yeon Seong and Chang Ye Na.

Westwood said: “I was disappointed with our performance. We had a game plan and we struggled to implement that.

“I’m not sure if we stuck together as well as we could have but we gave it a go and we were not expecting an easy ride. But we were not expecting to lose the way that we did.

“This was a really big tournament for us and we wanted to get to the main draw.

“There were a few good pairs in qualifying and we got drawn against one of them. Had we played well then I think we had a chance.

“I’m pretty disappointed that we did not make the main draw this year but we will be back next year to give it another go.

“I used to come to the Yonex All England all the time with my family so it is amazing to be here but it is just a shame we couldn’t make it to the first round.”

Westwood is confident her pairing with Nottingham will improve with time, though.

And the former Roundwood Park pupil will look to bounce back at the Swiss Open, which starts on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old added: “I wouldn’t say the defeat has knocked our confidence. We will look at it and if you lose then you learn from it and it depends on how much you take away from it and how much we can work on the things that we failed to do.

“Putting a game plan into place when there are other pressures in place is not as easy as when you are just sitting watching a video – the game plans sound simple but it is harder to do it out there on the court.

“The more tournaments we play, the better we will become at doing that and we have to keep learning.

“We have the Swiss Open next week which is a Grand Prix Gold event so it is a big deal for us and we will be looking for a good performance there.

“A couple of weeks after that we have a competition in France where we will be hoping for another good performance and maybe a final.”

> Watch the world’s best players at the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena from 8-13 March. For tickets visit allenglandbadminton.com