Scottish Open Grand Prix Women's Doubles Preview

One glance at the women’s doubles draw for the Scottish Open Grand Prix and it’s clear there’s a distinct British feel to proceedings.

Fourteen of the 32 pairs feature players from either Scotland or England, with three all-English duos seeded in the top eight.

The first of those, seeded second, are Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker, European bronze medallists in Denmark earlier this year.

In addition to their continental success, Rio Olympian Smith and Walker have enjoyed a promising year on court, reaching the semi-finals of the Spanish International and the final of the Czech Open.

They reached the second round of the TOTAL BWF World Championships in August, but will be seeking a longer stay in Glasgow this time around having enjoyed a lengthy run at the Emirates Arena in 2016.

Last year saw Smith and Walker reach the semi-finals but they’ll be hoping to go at least one step further in 2017, with Ireland’s Sara Boyle and Rachael Darragh first up for them.

In the other half of the draw, it’s Russian duo Anastasia Chervyakova and Olga Morozova who top the seedings, three months after they exited the World Championships in the third round.

They shared the bottom step of the European Championship podium alongside Smith and Walker earlier in the year, and come into the Scottish Open in fine form having reached the quarter-finals of the Bitburger Open earlier this month.

Chervyakova last competed at the Scottish Open four years ago, reaching the second round of the women’s doubles alongside Nina Vislova, as well as the same stage of the women’s singles.

It will mark Morozova’s maiden appearance at the tournament, with the duo set to face Dutch pair Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen in the first round in what will be a tasty opening tie.

Seeded third are Denmark’s Julie Finne-Ipsen and Rikke Søby, who reached the semi-final stage in Glasgow 12 months ago.

After enjoying a promising start to the year – reaching the semi-finals of the Swedish and Spanish internationals – Finne-Ipsen and Søby have struggled for form, not progressing from the first round in any tournament since June.

They will start their campaign against England’s Jess Hopton and Lizzie Tolman, with the Russian top seeds their likely opponents should they reach the semi-finals.

Also featuring high in the draw are English pair Chloe Birch and Jess Pugh, with Emilie Lefel and Anne Tran also likely to be in the running.

Scotland’s Holly Newall and Ciara Torrance will mount their Scottish Open challenge against English seventh seeds Jenny Moore and Viki Williams, hoping to impress the home crowd on familiar courts.