Huddersfield Olympian Marcus Ellis is off to a flyer at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, but not without a stumble along the way.

The 29-year-old shuttlecock star, who won bronze in the men’s doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is through to the second round of the mixed doubles in Birmingham alongside partner Lauren Smith.

Ellis and Smith have been seeded seventh at the world’s oldest badminton tournament and came from behind to beat Chinese duo Jiting He and Yue Du 12-21 21-19 21-19 in dramatic style.

With the home crowd roaring them on the English pairing were well-beaten in the first game but rallied at 8-4 down in the second, then stunning their opponents further in the third game with He and Du looking likely victors at 16-11 in the decider.

“I think we played the crucial points really well,” commented Ellis after coming off court. “I think there were large parts of the game where we’ll look back on and try and get better for the next round but when push came to shove, when it went to 18-18 and 19-19 we played strong.

“We played with bottle and that’s important, sometimes you just have to play to get over the line.

“You can’t take anything away from that pair. Maybe we went in with too much respect for them because they’re nine or ten in the world.”

Smith and Ellis have been playing regularly together for 12 months now and also reached the round of 16 at last year’s All Englands before losing out to Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto.

Alongside Chris Langridge, Ellis tasted gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia and also picked up a silver with Smith.

The mixed doubles pairing will now face Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat and Lai Shevon Jemie in the round of 16.

Ellis continued: “I can’t use the exact words I was thinking at 15-10 down, you can’t say it on camera! But I think you always have to think that no matter the score it’s never really over and at 15-10 all it takes is one or two points to switch the momentum.

“15-10 seems comfortable but when you get to 15-13 the opponent will let up and it’s a really important moment for us. But again, it’s about playing those big points well which I think we did.

“Hopefully we can step out on court tomorrow with a bit more oomph and a bit more confidence and play some proper stuff. We have to use some of that positivity for the next round.”

Despite his mixed doubles success Ellis and Langridge’s challenge in the men’s doubles is over for another year as they went down 21-19 21-12 to sixth seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.

The 2019 YONEX All England – Badminton’s Greatest Show on the sport’s world tour – will wow fans at Arena Birmingham, 6-10 March. For tickets and or search All England tickets.