What’s the story?
It wasn’t a pretty sight in the last match of Tie No. 12 at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) 2018 held at the Babu Banarasi Das U.P. Badminton Academy in Lucknow on Wednesday as the Chennai Smashers’ mixed doubles specialist, Gabrielle Adcock rolled her ankle.
As a result, the mixed doubles match could not be continued any further and the defending champions were forced to concede defeat with the Delhi Dashers pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Vladimir Ivanonov leading 6-5.
It ended Chennai’s hopes of a comeback in this tie and the Delhi franchise emerged 3-0 winners.
In case you didn’t know
This was a face-off between two PBL champions. While the Delhi franchise won the inaugural season of the PBL, Chennai triumphed in Season 2.
The heart of the matter
The mixed doubles pair of Gabrielle and Chris Adcock was given the responsibility of the Chennai Smashers’ Trump Match as they hoped to snatch a win against the Delhi Dashers. Delhi began the tie disastrously when their Trump men’s doubles pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov lost to the Chennai duo of Lee Yang and B. Sumeeth Reddy.
After their men’s singles experts -- Wong Wing Ki Vincent and Tian Houwei -- won their respective matches, the Chennai team rested their hopes on their star shuttler, PV Sindhu.
But the World No. 3 lost a thrilling three-game duel to the sixth ranked Sung Ji Hyun, which put Delhi in the lead. It all then boiled down to the mixed doubles match and the outcome of it would have decided the winner of this contest.
The World No. 5 pair began in scintillating fashion against the dangerous Delhi duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Vladimir Ivanov and raced ahead to 3-1. Unperturbed, the Dashers pair too came roaring back and evened the score, 5-5.
It was while retrieving the shuttle at 5-6 that the unfortunate incident took place for Gabrielle Adcock. The English shuttler tripped on her husband’s foot and rolled her ankle.
The 27-year-old could not play a single point after that as she sat down on the court, grimacing in pain. The Chennai team had to concede the match and the tie as well.
Adcocks’ opponents for the night -- Ashwini Ponnappa and Vladimir Ivanov -- came over to their side to pacify her in a gesture of great sportsmanship as the mixed doubles star was being treated. It is still not known how serious the injury is for the Chennai Smashers player.
The Chennai Smashers will look to push this setback aside and play their next match on January 6. It is scheduled to be held at home in Chennai and the home support can surely help to boost their morale.
It is never easy seeing a player getting injured in the middle of a match. With the entire 2018 badminton season lying ahead, this is definitely not the best time to be away from action.
Let us hope that the injury is not too serious for Adcock and that she can make a quick recovery.