February

Scots bow out of Italian Junior

Lauren Middleton’s run at the Italian Junior was halted at the third-round stage as the Scot came up against a third seed in form.

Aged just 17 but competing in the Under-19 event, Middleton’s day in Milan had begun well as the Scot overcame Switzerland’s Indira Dickhaeuser in the second round.

Middleton won through in 33 minutes, triumphing 21-18 12-21 21-18 – the Scot taking the opener after the pair were tied at 18-apiece.

The second saw Dickhaeuser race away from 6-6, part of a run of six straight points that established a lead she never conceded.

But the decider was another tense affair and it was Middleton that held her nerve to take it from being tied at 15-15.

The second round saw the end of Middleton’s fellow Scot Sarah Sidebottom, though, with the 17-year-old going down 9-21 17-21 to top seed Maria Delcheva, of Bulgaria.

In what was always going to be a tough encounter, Sidebottom saw her opponent race away with the opener having started well to only be trailing 7-5 after 12 points.

The second was a much tighter affair, Sidebottom drawing level at 10-10 and still looking in the match when only trailing 16-18.

But Delcheva won three of the next four points to take the win.

That left just Middleton as the sole Scot left in the third round and found herself up against third seed Vivien Sandorhazi.

The Hungarian triumphed 21-13 21-8 as Middleton’s earlier exertions appeared to take their toll in the second game.