YONEX All England 2023: Greg Mairs blames 'demons' for loss
Mairs and Jenny Moore suffered heartbreak in the opening round.
By Tom Harle at Utilita Arena Birmingham
Manchester badminton star Greg Mairs blamed psychological ‘demons’ for a heartbreaking defeat at the sport’s oldest and most prestigious tournament.
Mairs and mixed doubles partner Jenny Moore were on the brink of a maiden victory in the first round of the YONEX All England Open, staged at Utilita Arena Birmingham.
They won the first set 21-15 against South Korea’s Kim Won Ho and Jeong Na Eun and despite being pegged back in the second, were 16-10 up and cruising in the decider.
That’s when the slide began as the home favourites lost a series of points in succession, going down to a crushing defeat that Mairs attributed to nerves.
“You get these demons in your head thinking about winning,” said the 28-year-old.
“We’ve had this so many times in the past and I thought we’d overcome that hurdle, but against a pair like that who did not make one mistake, it’s so difficult.
"That win would have meant so much to us, it would have been the biggest win of our careers and now it’s the biggest loss of our careers."
"We feel so disappointed that we haven’t won on that stage and had the chance to play another match in that great arena. Walking out in that arena I felt goosebumps, it was just amazing."
Moore added: “We were executing the plan perfectly and it was one of those where All England is such a dream tournament and you want to progress as far as you can in the game.
“Obviously you get nervous in those crucial points and they start getting three points for every one of your points. You just start getting a bit stressed and a bit nervous, that’s what happened to us today.
“We’ll try, we’ve got a week to prepare for our next tournament. It’ll take time to get over that but we’ll try."
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