February

Dunn and Hall into Austrian semi-final

Alex Dunn and Adam Hall dramatically booked their places in the Austrian Open semi-finals after a thrilling evening of badminton in Vienna.

The top seeds were expected to progress from the last eight but were made to work very hard by Joel Eipe and Philip Seerup, the dANISH sixth seeds who had yet to drop a game.

The two pairs had never faced each other but the Scottish duo were up against it early on, trailing 7-2 in the first game.

But they roared back in some style, winning six consecutive points and holding their nerve to take the first game 21-18.

That was certainly a sign of things to come in the contest as the Danes got back on level terms, winning four points in succession to finish off a game that saw its pendulum constantly swing – winning it 21-18.

Dunn and Hall are made of stern stuff though – as shown by their Iceland International win earlier this year – and showed just why they are the top seeds.

Forced into a decider, the match was locked at 10-10 but it was there where the Scottish duo made the game their own, striding forward and not surrendering the lead from thereon to secure their second win of the day with a 21-17 victory.

“We're really happy to grind out the win,” said Hall.

“We controlled the match well I thought, up until midway through each set then lost a bit of focus maybe toward the end at times but we’re just super happy to be through to the semis on Saturday.”

One game now separates Dunn and Hall from the final, with Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chen and Ye Hong Wei occupying the other side of the net.

But that wasn’t all from Hall as he and Ciara Torrance battled to the mixed doubles quarter-finals before bowing out.

That included an impressive upset, knocking out Pei Tianyi and Yang Yiling of China, the pair who had come into the competition as eighth seeds.

The Scottish team led for most of the first game and held their nerve after their opponents fought back, taking it 23-21.

Pei and Yang comfortably levelled the match with a 21-8 win in the second but Hall and Torrance roared clear in the decider to take it 21-13 and seal their place in the last eight.

There they came up against English second seeded pair Greg Mairs and Jenny Moore and were beaten 25-23 21-10, missing out on four game points in the opener. 

Hall continued: “My mixed went well, we had a good win against Chinese opposition who are never easy to beat.

“We also gave the quarter a good shot against a good English pair but just ran out of steam after the first game.”

Torrance’s women’s doubles campaign also came to an end when she and English shuttler Lizzie Tolman bowed out 21-16 21-12 against Japan’s Riko Imai and Nao Ono.

Earlier in the day, Dunn and Eleanor O’Donnell were edged out of the mixed doubles at the hands of Danish seventh seeds Kristoffer Knudsen and Isabella Nielsen.

The Danes claimed the first game 21-11 before Dunn and O’Donnell hit back 21-18 in the second. But the favourites found another gear and took the decider 21-12 to book their place in the quarter-finals.

And there was a surprise exit for second seeds Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh in the men’s doubles, with the pair losing in three games to Singaporeans Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Hee Yong Kai Terry.

Despite Campbell and MacHugh comfortably taking the opening game 21-13, Hee and Chrisnanta hit back to level the match via the same scoreline before edging a tense decider 21-18.

And there was more bad news for Scotland as third seeds Julie MacPherson and O’Donnell exited the women’s doubles, falling to a straight game reverse against China’s Li Sizhuo and Xu Wei - losing 21-18 21-13.