YONEX Belgian International round-up

The Sportoase Leuven was the venue for the YONEX Belgian International 2017 as a small group of Scottish players took on an international field.

Holly Newall played Ukraine’s Maryna Ilyinskaya in the first round of qualification in the women’s singles draw. Unfortunately, Holly went down 21-11 21-19 to her more experienced opponent, who ultimately progressed to the main draw in women’s singles.

Christopher and Matthew Grimley had a hectic day, each facing several rounds of men’s singles qualification as well as coming together to contest a qualifying tie in the men’s doubles draw.

In men’s singles, Matthew played a gruelling early match against Briger Abts of Belgium, eventually coming out on top 18-21 26-24 21-16 after almost an hour of play. His reward? Former world number 2, Kento Momota, who was banned last year for a gambling infraction and is now working his way back up through the men’s singles rankings. Despite a battling performance, Matthew lost 21-11 21-5.

Christopher Grimley also started early, playing the first game on court one, with a quick 21-15 21-9 victory over the Netherlands Sebastiaan Li. He then went on to a 21-16 21-5 victory over Ditlev Holm, when the Danish player retired in the second game, to put him within one win of the main draw. It wasn’t to be however for the young Scot as he lost to Germany’s Alexander Roovers 21-12 21-11 in what, by this stage, was Christopher’s fourth game of the day.

In between their men’s singles exploits, Christopher and Matthew came together to play against India’s Utkarch Arora and Swarnaraj Bora in the qualification round of men’s doubles. India’s pairing proved to be too strong for the Scottish duo who put up a good fight but eventually went down 15-21 21-17 21-18. It will be of little solace to the Scottish fans that Arora and Bora went on to qualify comfortably for the main draw.

Full results: