Sean Vendy looks to harness the lessons of 2022 Sport-rated
March 6, 2023
Valuable lessons learned at the YONEX All England Open helped Sean Vendy scale new heights in 2022.
Vendy and his doubles partner Ben Lane made big strides on the doubles circuit last season, beating some of the world’s best couples and reaching 13th place in the BWF rankings.
Much of his improvement came from what was a challenging tournament loss 12 months ago against Japanese pairing Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi.
Hoki and Kobayashi were seeded third and were reigning world champions at the time, and Lane and Vendy came close to pulling off a significant upset.
The English pair rallied from a game down to hold match points in the decider, and Vendy doesn’t shy away from how difficult it was to fail to close that out.
“Last year at the All England was good and bad. We had chances in the second round against one of the best couples,” Vendy said.
“We were leading 19-15 in the third game and then we lost. That’s a memory I have, if it’s good or bad I’m not sure.
“When you put yourself in that position, it almost hurts a lot when you lose, especially at the All England. We had a chance to reach the quarterfinals against a couple we had beaten in the previous three months. It was a good chance for an All England semi-final and it ended up being a second round loss. We were really trying to understand why it happened and we have.
“I think from then on, at the end of the year, we put everything into practice and then it all came together in tournaments, which is good.
“Towards the end of the year, everything really fell into place. I think in three months, we beat six of the top 10 couples in the world. We really started to put it all together when it mattered.
“I feel that since last year, we are much more complete. I think if we were in that position again, we would definitely convert it. I haven’t done great in this tournament, so I think the best is yet to come.”
Vendy and Lane have had an attractive draw this year, with fifth seeds Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi awaiting them in the first round.
The Chinese pairing will undoubtedly provide a great test, but Vendy believes that he and his partner have rarely been in a better place to challenge the best.
He added: “We are training probably the hardest we have ever been trained. I feel great, Ben feels good. I think it is inevitable that we will have another great result soon and hopefully it will be at the All England.
“We are doing a lot of physical training. Lots of matches, which is helping us replicate what it’s really like when we come out. Play three against two, which is putting maximum pressure on us.
“I don’t think the training changes much from what we do in a standard week, our routine is pretty good, it helped us.
“I think there will be some adjustments to the content aspect, but the main training will be very similar to what we usually do.”
Expectations are high despite a challenging draw following the improvement the duo have made, and Vendy can’t wait to put on a show on home soil again.
“We have been waiting for this tournament since last year. I think after the Commonwealth Games, a local event in Birmingham, there were a lot of spectators; we can’t wait to get back in front of that supportive Birmingham crowd.
“I think the goal is that we want to go deeper into the tournament and whether it’s in the quarterfinals, semifinals or final, it has to be beyond the second round for us.
“We don’t want to put a specific goal on it. If we said we want to make it to the quarterfinals and then we make it to the quarterfinals, then it’s almost like we’ve made it, but we wouldn’t be happy about it.
“I think we will set some goals, but it probably won’t be outcome goals. It will be more about what we’re doing as a couple and how to refocus rather than how we want to get to a certain stage.”
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