Nathan Robertson admits the battle between Britain’s top two mixed doubles pairs is hotting up after he and Jenny Wallwork made it through to the Yonex All England Badminton quarter-finals in Birmingham.
With one place at London 2012 up for grabs, Commonwealth Games silver medallists Robertson and Wallwork responded to Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier’s second round victory with what the 34-year-old described as their best performance in a year.
Their 21-13, 21-13 dismantling of fifth-seeded Chinese Tapei duo Hung Ling Chen and Wen Hsing Cheng left the Olympic silver medallist dreaming of an all-British semi-final – with Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir standing in their way in the last eight.
“We’d love to see a British semi-final, both pairs are responding to each other’s performances now,” said Robertson, who sits just two places behind Adcock and Bankier in the BWF rankings in 19th.
“We are all fighting for that one place so it’s very tough; both pairs are playing really well now which is fantastic for Britain and hopefully we can carry on.
“We followed their victory up but I’m sure both pairs will put up a great performance in the quarter-final and we’ll see where it gets us.
“It was a fantastic performance. That was our top level there, they are number five in the world for a reason and we haven’t beaten them before. We played at top speed and they just had no answer to that.”
On paper the clash against Ahmad and Natsir is a step up in class, but Robertson warned the world number four seeds not to take them lightly.
With Robertson set to hang up his racquet after the Olympics this summer he is dreaming of a perfect ending to his final All England Open.
He added: “We are coming up against a higher ranked pair again but if we play like that, and if they have watched that, they won’t be looking forward to playing us on that form.
“That’s the best performance we’ve put in for over a year but I think the extra adrenaline at being at the All England is the difference. It definitely gives us a boost and we want to carry on at that level now.”
You can still experience the world’s elite badminton players battling it out for Olympic qualification points LIVE. Tickets are available for the remainder of the Championships at the NIA in Birmingham www.allenglandbadminton.com