Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen in a file photo. They beat India’s Tarun Kona-Ashwini Ponnappa 21-13, 21-16 in the first round of the All-England.
BIRMINGHAM: World No. 4 mixed doubles pair Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen of Denmark are the in-form pair right now.
They won the Superseries Finals in Kuala Lumpur last year before returning to Malaysia in January, where they made the final of the Malaysian Open – losing to China’s Xu Chen-Ma Jin.
Nevertheless, Nielsen-Pedersen have consistently beaten the top Chinese pairs and Indonesia’s reigning world champions Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir.
But the All-England is one tournament where the Danes have generally never done well – losing in the first round last year and only making the quarter-finals in 2011 and 2012.
Nielsen, however, is confident they can set things right this time.
“We always felt that the All-England is the one tournament we’ve never really done well in ... but it’s not for the lack of trying,” said the 35-year-old Nielsen after their 21-13, 21-16 first round win over India’s Tarun Kona-Ashwini Ponnappa.
“We’ve been playing well recently and there is always a chance things will change this time.
“We’ve beaten all the pairs here and we can win ... but we know we could also lose in the next round.”
Fourth-seeded Nielsen-Pedersen will face either compatriots Mads Pieler Kolding-Kamilla Rytter Juhl or Americans Phillip Chew-Jamie Subandhi next.
Meanwhile, Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing’s European campaign ended miserably after being handed a 12-21, 5-21 thrashing by Tontowi-Liliyana.
Pei Jing was mostly at fault but Peng Soon believes she should not shoulder all the blame.
“We’re disappointed ... this was a really poor performance by us. It’s back to the drawing board now,” said Peng Soon.
Other results saw two Chinese qualifiers – Chai Biao-Tang Jinhua and Lu Kai-Huang Yaqiong – making the second round.