Badminton ace Alex Langley limbers up for mixed doubles contest
ALEX Langley admits her English National Badminton Championships preparation could have been smoother – but the former Humberston schoolgirl is aiming high all the same.
The 21-year-old had been hoping to get some time on court with new doubles partner Jenny Wallwork in Manchester next month, only for back and ankle injuries to throw the latter's participation up in the air.
All is not lost for Langley, though, as this means she can concentrate on her assault alongside mixed doubles partner Matthew Nottingham.
And whatever happens, the only way is up for the duo after last year's straight sets round one exit to Gary Fox and Samantha Ward.
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Langley, pictured. insists that although her and Wallwork are missing an opportunity to gel in Manchester, she is keen to make up for that alongside Nottingham.
"It's a shame for Jenny as I think we could have been contenders there, but her injury has thrown it up in the air a little bit," she said.
"So now my main focus is going to be on the mixed doubles with Matt, because we will have had a bigger build up to that.
"We still haven't peaked yet, and we are still learning off one another, so we'll see how we can do.
"If we get it together, who knows what can happen? We'll just have to see.
"We have to be confident in our ability – we know what we can do and that is win matches and I think our constant improvement is encouraging."
The National Championships also provides the country's top badminton players with the chance to steal a march on their domestic rivals as they battle it out for bragging rights.
And Langley is keen to take that chance before turning her attentions on her international rivals shortly afterwards.
"We all want to be better than each other in Milton Keynes and obviously the Nationals is one big step towards doing that," she added.
"But then on top of that we want to be beating other nations in the world and so there's a real drive to kick on and keep improving.
"At tournaments, we want to make sure everyone else is afraid of us on court and so we've been working hard on our game, but we know everyone else is working hard too so it's always difficult."
Tickets for every day of the English National Badminton Championships are available at www.nationalbadmintonchamps.co.uk or call the box office on 08445 811424.