Chris and Gabby Adcock’s hopes of World Superseries Finals success will hinge on their final group game on Friday after the English number one pair suffered a first defeat in Dubai.
The Adcocks, the world number seven pair, lost out 21-17, 21-18 to Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, China’s world and Olympic champions, in the season-ending finals featuring the top eight players in the world at the Hamdan Sports Complex.
The top English duo will now need to beat Hong Kong’s unbeaten Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah and hope Zhang and Zhao lose their final game to progress to the last four on Saturday.
“There were many positives and I’m really happy with our level,” said Gabby. “One more match to go and we will give it our all.”
China’s world number one pair play Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, the top Indonesian pair who have yet to get off the mark in the emirate.
The Adcocks’ crucial match against the surprise Hong Kong combination, who won the Australian Open earlier this year, will begin at 7pm local time on Friday.
The pairs’ only previous meeting came at last year’s Japan Open when Lee and Chau came through in a tight three-game affair.