Mathias Boe grew up dreaming of winning the YONEX All England Open and, despite taking home the men’s doubles title twice so far, the Dane is as hungry as ever to win a third.
Boe returns to Birmingham with doubles partner Carsten Mogensen but the Danish duo have played just one match at the YONEX All England Open since their last triumph three years ago.
They missed the tournament in 2016 and suffered a shock first-round exit last year against Chinese pair Lu Kai and Zheng Siwei.
Lost time to make up for is therefore on this 37-year-old’s mind but, as the twilight of his career gathers pace, the thrill of the badminton chase is not one he is allowing to slip by.
“The All England is our favourite tournament and we are really excited and looking forward to coming to Birmingham,” said Boe, victorious in both 2011 and 2015.
“Even though we’ve played there so many times, it’s still a super thrilling excitement you have to come there.
“I’m really happy that I’ve been good and lucky enough to win it twice, but to win it three times would be a dream come true. As a child, you always watched the All England; it is a big thing.
“Next to the World Championships and the Olympics, it’s the tournament that I want to win the most.”
In previous visits,Boe and Mogensen have reached five YONEX All England Open semi-finals, winning the tournament twice and finishing as runners-up in 2010. That is experience Boe certainly values but when it comes to setting the Danish duo apart, the veteran knows it is more than what has gone before that defines a star.
“I don’t know if it helps us,” he added. “It can keep you a bit calm, but at the same time it can make you lazy and too relaxed, so it depends on how mentally prepared you are for the event.
"We are not young anymore, but we are still really hungry and every time we play a tournament we want to win it and are aiming to win it. It’s no different this year at the All England.”
“I think all badminton players really want to win the event. Everybody feels that it is one of the highlights of the season.”