Lauren Smith is pleased with the level of consistency she has found in her game after winning at the Orleans Masters.

Alongside doubles partner Chloe Birch, 27-year-old Longtown ace Smith won the women’s doubles title, defeating Chinese Taipei pair Hu Ling-fang and Hsu Ya-ching 21-18, 21-17 in Sunday’s final. It was Carlisle-born Smith’s eighth women’s doubles final on the international circuit in 18 months - and her 35th in total.

“I’m really happy with that level of consistency at a high level, and I’m still really pushing in training to improve and get similar results at the top,” she said.

“The tournament programme we have is extremely taxing and, the previous week in Switzerland, I was feeling quite mentally fatigued. So, to achieve what we did last week has given me a lot of confidence and reminded me why I push myself so much.” 

Having previously won the Orleans Masters Super 100 title with Heather Olver, it was five-time Commonwealth Games medallist Smith’s second title at the French event.

Birch and Smith, meanwhile, have now won three international circuit titles from three finals together on badminton’s world tour, having also won the 2018 Czech Open and 2016 Belgian International title in the pair’s haul from the European circuit.

“There were some strong entries. We did have some luck with the early rounds of the draw but, from the quarter-finals onwards, it was very tough,” she added.

“We played an Indonesian pair then two pairs from Chinese Taipei. The games were quite physical, so I’m happy that we showed we can play at a high level throughout the rounds. 

“I believe it highlights how Chloe and I have progressed over recent months. It’s still early in the partnership but we showed consistency and maturity throughout.”

Attentions turn to the Asian leg of the HSBC BWF World Tour with the Malaysia Open next up, starting on April 2, while Smith is also looking ahead to qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

She said: “I’m definitely hoping for further success, especially with Olympic qualifying around the corner.” 

Smith will be in Cumbria on July 7 when she starts the Carlisle Poppy Challenge - Leg it for the Legion, a family running event.