The 2015 YONEX All England Championships will mark 10 years since Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms's brilliant mixed doubles victory. Here, they recall their title win against Denmark's Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Juhl.
Gail Emms: Post-Athens in 2004 we had practically been on the party circuit for six months. So at the start of the year we were trying to get back into training and get the rhythm back. But our form was okay and it was a combination of luck and hanging in and scraping through that saw us through the All England.
Nathan Robertson: We did celebrate somewhat after the Olympics with our silver and we didn’t win many matches in those six months. But we had targeted the All England. To be honest, I never really had good thoughts about our home event: I had never played well and had never made a quarter-final. Although it is a tournament we always talk about, my results were poor before 2005. We were sick of losing early on home soil with only one big tournament in the UK each year, and we wanted to change that.
GE: For me, the All England was all about getting through it. I can remember only a few matches throughout my whole career in Birmingham - my first and my last. I just remember feelings and the All England was about doing the business in the early rounds and focusing on the later rounds if you got there.
NR: I remember the Korean pair in the second round, who were by far the best unseeded players in the whole draw. They were top five players and not someone you wanted to play so early on, but we were ready for them and it paved the way to the final.
GE: For anyone at their home event, the pressure is immense, let alone preparing yourselves for a final. You see so many familiar faces in the crowd that it can be a distraction rather than a job.
NR: My overriding memory of the final was walking out into the arena. It was totally sold out and there were banners and flags everywhere. It was an overwhelming buzz walking onto the court.
GE: We knew the Danes were playing well. They were an unseeded pair and had momentum coming into the final with nothing to lose, while we had everything to lose as number two seeds.
NR: Yes, they had just started to play really well that year and they were dangerous. But after that second round victory we were confident that we would win the whole tournament. I just didn’t see who else we would lose to.
GE: We knew Laybourn being the same age as us from junior days, while Juhl was a new star on the scene. But because we got to the final and we had a few more results under our belt, we ended up being more confident than them.
GE: Laybourn was so quick in mid court, and with Juhl, a 6’ 2’’ left-hander, I didn’t want to get intimidated by her. Our tactic was for me to intimidate her and quell Laybourn’s speed.
NR: We won the first quite confidently and in the second we were down a few points before storming back to win.
GE: But our tactics went out of the window. Nathan didn’t play well and I think he probably had one of his worst games as a pair. Nerves took over and it was just a case of getting the shuttle over the net.
NR: I never planned anything for winning. I saw the shuttle hit the net and I ran anywhere, I don’t know where. I jumped in the air and hugged Gail. It was a great moment.
GE: It was pure relief when we won. I was more fist-pump whereas Nathan was running, jumping and trying to pick me up. It showed our personalities that’s for sure! We had different reactions to badminton as a pair. He was more involved as he loves badminton so much, whereas I saw it as a means to win matches.
GE: We had a reception afterwards and Nathan came up to me and apologised! I told him ‘it’s okay, we won!’ It says something that his poor play by his standards was still good enough to win the All England.
NR: I don’t remember that at all! I probably said we perhaps could have played better but it really didn’t matter at that time - it was all about winning.GE: We won $7, 625 for our efforts! Of course you aren’t in it for the money. Your job is to win the All England Championships so the prize cheque was embarrassing back then. It was part and parcel of the game and that has all changed now, but the prestige of winning was far more important then. Interview by Rod Gilmour This year's YONEX All England Championship takes place 3-8 March. Buy your tickets here.