March

MacPherson and O'Donnell set to contest Portuguese International Final

Eleanor O’Donnell and Julie MacPherson will go in search of a second International title of 2018 on Sunday, after reaching the final in Portugal.
 
The top seeds won two games on Saturday to make the final in Caldas da Rainha and set up a clash with unseeded Chinese Taipei pair Li Zi Qing and Teng Chun Hsun.
 
MacPherson and O’Donnell, who won the Iceland International earlier in the year, began their day with a 21-14 21-12 victory over home pair Adriana and Sonia Goncalves.
 
That set up a semi-final against Swiss duo Celine Burkart and Jenjira Stadelmann which, after an admittedly slow start, they won 24-22 21-13 to make the Sunday showdown.
 
“The Swiss came out really strong and we struggled to deal with it, but from mid-way through the first set, I think we played the best we've played yet in the tournament,” said MacPherson.
 
“We've never played Li and Teng before and we know it's going to be a tough match but we're looking forward to it.”
 
Burkart and Stadelmann held a 12-5 advantage in the early stages of the semi-final’s first game.
 
But the Scots drew closer to trail just 15-10 before going on a run of seven straight points to assume control of the game and the match.
 
They eventually closed out the opener 24-22, and never looked in trouble during the second – the closest the Swiss getting being 6-5 down before MacPherson and O’Donnell accelerated away to a 21-13 win.
 
“We're delighted to be in the final,” added O’Donnell. “We made a few easy mistakes and gave the Swiss pair a bit of a lead but we managed to reset and eventually take the first set.
 
“The second set was solid from us and we were always in control. They played a very solid game earlier against a strong Swedish pair so we're delighted to have come out on top!”
 
There was almost two Scottish pairs in Sunday’s finals but Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh were knocked out by the third seeds in the semi-finals.
 
After playing late into the night to beat Daniel Nikolov and Ivan Rusev on Friday, they returned on Saturday to down England’s Max Flynn and Michael Roe 22-20 21-8.
 
But their run was halted in the final four by Mathias Bay-Smidt and Frederik Sogaard, the Danes beating the second seeds 21-18 21-14.
 
Joining Campbell and MacHugh in the late-night Friday action was Ciara Torrance, with the Scot losing in the second round of the women’s doubles alongside England’s Jessica Hopton – beaten 22-20 15-21 21-10 by Sweden’s Klara Johansson and Moa Sjoo.