A lot has changed since Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis last competed at the Scottish Open Grand Prix.
Two years ago, the English men’s doubles pair reached the semi-finals in Glasgow, missing out on a place in the final at the hands of eventual champions Michael Fuchs and Johannes Schoettler.
But less than a year later, they were Olympic bronze medallists – standing atop the third step of the podium in Rio having sealed their place among the very best in the world.
This week they will return to the Emirates Arena as top seeds after a month away from the courts in which Langridge has been recovering from an arm injury.
Having reached the quarter-finals of the Dutch Open in October, they will be looking to impress on British soil, with Ellis having already won two Scottish Open titles.
While he won mixed doubles gold with Gabby Adcock in 2012, two years previous had seen him win the men’s doubles crown alongside Peter Mills so Ellis will certainly be gunning for his hat-trick.
But Langridge and Ellis aren’t the only English shuttlers among the favourites for the prize, with Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden hot on their heels as third seeds.
Briggs and Wolfenden have enjoyed a rise up the rankings this year, advancing more than 20 places thanks in part to their Canada Open victory in July.
Their last few tournaments have not gone as well, however, as they begin to test their skills on the BWF Superseries stage.
Briggs and Wolfenden are likely to face Scottish pair Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh in the second round, and should they reach the semi-finals, could meet second seeds Jones Ralfy Jansen and Josche Zurwonne.
The Germans reached the second round of the TOTAL BWF World Championships in August, having exited at the quarter-final stage of April’s European Championships.
While they haven’t enjoyed as much success this year, 2016 was a year to remember for Jansen and Zurwonne, triumphing in three BWF International Challenge events as well as finishing as runners-up in the Brasil Open Grand Prix.
Three of the last four Scottish Open men’s doubles titles have been claimed by Danish shuttlers and Frederik Colberg and Rasmus Fladberg will be hoping that run can continue into another year as fourth seeds.
In 2016, three of the five titles on offer were won by their fellow countrymen and women, but it wasn’t to be for Colberg and Fladberg as they were eliminated in the first round.
They enter this year’s tournament in red hot form, however, having emerged as champions at the Hungarian International earlier this month and also won the Belgian International in September.
They will play Scotland’s Alex Dunn and Adam Hall in the first round, with Chris and Matthew Grimley also set to face Danish opposition in the form of Mikkel Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Overgaard.