March

Scots off to a strong start in the Yonex German Junior

It was a day of success for Scottish players as play got under way in Berlin for the German Junior with four wins from six matches.

There was early success in the mixed doubles as both Scottish pairs progressed to the second round, while Joshua Apiliga and Christopher Grimley made the last 64 of the men’s singles.

Grimley will begin his men’s doubles campaign alongside twin brother Matthew on Friday but Thursday was all about the singles and he was forced to work for his win.

But win he did, eventually sealing an 18-21 21-18 21-14 victory over Germany’s Matthias Kicklitz – an opponent he had already recorded a 21-13 21-10 victory over at last year’s Irish U19 Open.

“I played him before but this time it was much closer,” said Grimley.

“At the start of the third set I got a good lead with 11-4 which helped me as his head went down.

“For the rest of the week, hopefully I play well and get as many wins as I can.”

Grimley will play Russia’s Georgii Karpov in Friday’s second round, while his doubles campaign begins with a first-round bye before a clash with either India’s Vishnu Vardhan Goud Panjala and Srikrishna Sai Kumar Podile or Denmark’s Christian Larsen and Mads Muurholm.

The day began with Adam Pringle and Rachel Andrew battling to a hard-fought win over Polish 13th seeds Wiktor Trecki and Zuzanna Parysz.

Pringle and Andrew lost the first game 17-21 but hit back in the second with a 21-14 win to force it into a decider.

And the Scots maintained that momentum in the third game, racing through it 21-8 to set up a second-round tie against Indonesia’s Respati Banuaji and Shelandry Vyola.

That win was followed by Apiliga and Jennifer Lafferty beating another Polish pair, Patryk Kordek and Karolina Szubert.
Mirroring their compatriots, the Poles took the opener 21-14 before the Scots hit back with their own 21-14 victory.

And they too came through in the decider, eking out a 21-18 triumph to set up a second-round match against Chinese second seeds Di Zijian and Liu Xuanxuan.

And both Apiliga and Lafferty will also be in singles action on Friday, with the former facing Spain’s Tomas Toledano after beating Germany’s Matti-Lukka Bahro 21-11 21-7 on Thursday.

While Lafferty’s singles campaign begins against Russian 15th seed Anastasiia Pustinskaia.

Lafferty will not be in women’s doubles action, though, after she and Andrew lost 13-21 17-21 to Karolina Szubert and Mia Tarcalova, while Pringle’s opening men’s singles encounter ended in defeat – beaten 21-15 23-21 by Mikhail Lavrikov.

Image by Mark Phelan