November

Jess Pugh looking to find success in Scotland at the SOGP

Jess Pugh and Ben Lane have been knocking on the door of badminton success for several months now and the former hopes their moment can finally come at the Scottish Open Grand Prix.

 

The English duo have reached two quarter-finals and two semi-finals this year, defeating world number ten pair Tse Ying Suet and Tang Chun Man at the YONEX French Open last month.

 

Pugh and Lane head to Glasgow seeded third in the mixed doubles and, after their most successful season yet, the young shuttlers will be hoping for a place in the final.

 

“Becoming Scottish Open champions would be amazing, it would be the best result of our career so far,” said Pugh.

 

“Winning a Grand Prix is hard, not many people can do that so it would be great to have that to our names.

 

“We’ve had some really good results recently so we definitely believe if we play our best we can do better than last year – when we reached the quarter-finals.

 

“We played really well at the French Open and that was probably the best win of our career so we’re playing with confidence right now.”

 

Pugh has certainly been catching eyes on the international badminton circuit recently and the 20-year-old will also compete in the women’s doubles next week alongside Chloe Birch.

 

“Me and Chloe haven’t been playing together that long, we’ve played five or six tournaments together maybe,” she added.

 

“We’re at the beginning of our partnership, so we’re figuring each other out, how we play together and what works best with our strengths.

 

“We’re at the start of that journey, but we’re playing really well at the moment. We’ve been challenging some really good pairs so we hope to do as well as we can.

 

“We believe we can beat most of the pairs that are in the draw so we just hope we can bring our best level.”

 

And it will be a welcome return to the Emirates Arena for the Shropshire-born athlete, who qualified for the TOTAL BWF World Championships with Lane in August.

 

“We love playing in the Emirates Arena, it’s got a really nice feel and we like playing in the big arenas – it suits our style,” she explained.

 

“We just came back from a long seven-week block of tournaments and matches but I’ve had a few days off and a good week’s training this week.

 

“I’m feeling fresh for the Scottish Open and it’s definitely nice to have something closer to home. It still almost feels like a home crowd when you’re there so that’s a positive.”