October

Merrilees and Ouseph set for battle of the Brits

Kieran Merrilees looks set for a battle of the Brits clash at the Scottish Open Grand Prix after being drawn in the same half as European champion Rajiv Ouseph.

If all goes according to seeding then Merrilees and top seed Ouseph – a two-time Scottish Open victor – are likely to face off in the third round of the tournament, which will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 22-26 November.

The two are familiar foes, however, having played on five previous occasions – but Merrilees will be hoping to get off the mark against the Englishman this time around.

He will start his campaign on home soil against India’s Karan Rajan Rajarajan, a player he recently beat in the first round of the Yonex Dutch Open, while Ouseph must wait until the end of qualifying to discover his first round opponent.

That could be one of three Brits, with Scotland’s Sameer Aamir as well as England’s Alex Lane and Daniel Leers all gunning for a place in the main draw.

Third seed Emil Holst is also likely to be in the running for the crown with Lars Schaenzler first up for the Dane. Holst will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Anders Antonsen, the 2015 and 2016 champions respectively.

Scotland’s Ben Torrance will begin his tournament against Swiss shuttler Christian Kirchmayr while Matthew Carder faces a tough opening challenge against Brazil’s second seed Ygor Coelho.

In the women’s singles, Kirsty Gilmour will play Delphine Lansac of France in the first round as she looks to make it third time lucky after finishing as runner-up at the Scottish Open on two occasions.

Gilmour could face a British head-to-head of her own with England’s Chloe Birch likely to be her opponent across the net in the second round.

Spain’s second seed Beatriz Corrales must wait to discover her first challenger from qualification while Danish third seed Mia Blichfeldt will face Belgium’s Lianne Tan.

Blichfeldt is also seeking a third Danish title in succession following wins for Line Kjaersfeldt in 2015 and Mette Poulsen last year.

In the men’s doubles, Olympic bronze medallists Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis are seeded top and will play Indian duo Nikhar Garg and Aniruddha Mayekar first up.

Ellis is a previous winner in Glasgow, triumphing back in 2010 alongside Peter Mills, but will return alongside Langridge for the first time since 2015.

Scottish brothers Christopher and Matthew Grimley could face the Englishmen should they reach the quarter-final stage, though they must first overcome Denmark’s Mikkel Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Overgaard.

Last year’s semi-finalists Jelle Maas and Robin Tabeling are seeded seventh and will start their campaign against Sahil Sipani and Wang Yuehang.

They could face Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh in the quarter finals, but only if the Scots can overcome a potential second round match against England’s third seeds Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden, a pair in fine form after their Canada Open triumph earlier this year.

Campbell and MacHugh take on a Kiwi/Denmark combination in their first round match while Scotland’s Alex Dunn and Adam Hall, who reached last year’s final with England’s Peter Mills, face a difficult opening match against Danish fourth seeds Frederik Colberg and Rasmus Fladberg.

In the women’s doubles the Russian top seeds Anastasia Chervyakova and Olga Morozova have a difficult opening match against Selena Piek, who won the event in 2013, and her compatriot Cheryl Seinen of the Netherlands.

England’s Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker are second seeds and open up against Indian opposition, while there will be another meeting of the auld enemies in the women’s doubles as Scotland’s Holly Newall and Ciara Torrance take on English seventh seeds Jenny Moore and Viki Williams – winners at September’s Polish International.

Fellow Scots Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell also play opposition from south of the border in the form of Nicola Gresty and Til’Shiloh Shaw, while Basia Grodynska teams up with Emily Robinson to play French fourth seeds Emilie Lefel and Anne Tran.

Elsewhere, Lauren Middleton and Sarah Sidebottom will face Danish duo Mai Surrow and Josephine Van Zaane, and could meet England’s Birch and Jess Pugh should they reach the quarter-finals.

The mixed doubles draw sees Dunn and O’Donnell play Irish top seeds Sam and Chloe Magee first up, while Campbell and MacPherson will do battle with England’s Callum Hemming and Nicola Gresty.

England’s Ellis and Lauren Smith – recently crowned Dutch Open champions – are seeded fifth and will play French opposition in the first round, and could face second seeds Ronan Labar and Audrey Fontaine in the semi-finals.

A total of 316 players from 37 nations entered this year’s Scottish Open Grand Prix and BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “We are now just three weeks away from the start of the Scottish Open Grand Prix and the release of the draw has only added to the excitement.

“It is great to see so many thrilling matches lying in wait, as well as some brilliant ties potentially coming our way in the later stages of the tournament.

“We can’t wait to welcome back to Glasgow so many fantastic players from all corners of the globe, and I have full confidence we are going to see some world-class action on court.”

The Scottish Open Grand Prix is being staged at the Emirates Arena by BADMINTONscotland with support from Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.