Dutch maestro Mark Caljouw surged into the Scottish Open Badminton Championships semi-finals with a dominant performance against Frenchman Thomas Rouxel in Glasgow.
The 23-year-old is the highest ranked player left in the competition after second seed Brice Leverdez was knocked out in the third round by French compatriot Lucas Claerbout.
His quarter-final opponent had already ended the challenge of defending champion Toby Penty in the previous round, but Caljouw eased past Rouxel with an impressive 21-7 21-9 victory.
“I played a solid game, not many mistakes so I’m really happy to win,” he said. “It’s always hard to play against him, but I think he didn’t play quite at his best.
“He made a lot of mistakes and now I have to look forward to a semi-final tomorrow, I think I’m ready for it and I’m not feeling the pressure [of being the top seed left].
“I think I just need to play my own game, step by step, and my goal is to win this tournament. We will see what happens in the semi-final, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Caljouw will face China’s Sun Feixiang in the last four after the 20-year-old overcame Danish eighth seed Victor Svendsen, coming from behind to win 21-23 21-14 21-10.
In the other semi-final clash, Rajiv Ouseph will take on Chinese qualifier Liu Haichao after the two-time former champion came through a tough quarter-final against Lucas Corvee.
“It was a tough game, I played him at the beginning of the year and it was a three-setter and he beat Toby [Penty] recently so I knew it was going to be difficult, “Ouseph said.
“I just tried to stay in the rallies where I wasn’t playing very well, or the periods where I wasn’t playing well, and to his credit he played well and hit a lot of good patches.”
Haichao sealed his place in the semi-finals with victory over Claerbout, winning 21-14 17-21 21-15 in just over an hour, and will now face fourth seed Ouseph for a place in the final.
In the mixed doubles, European bronze medallists and second seeds Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich overcame Dutch seventh seeds Robin Tabeling and Cheryl Seinen 21-18 21-17.
“We have never played the semi-finals here before and we’re happy that we did it and are now looking forward to our next match,” said Herttrich.
“I think we’re in good shape. We had a small training block that was good for us after a run of tournaments and we’re ready to go for more.”
Lamsfuss added: “We had a good start in both sets and then they got better, but we managed to keep our breaks and keep our focus to the end to win the match.”
Their victory sets up a mouthwatering last four clash against third seeds Jacco Arends and Selena Piek after the Netherlands duo beat Mikkel Mikkelsen and Mai Surrow 19-21 21-14 23-21.
The other semi-final sees an all-English battle between top seeds Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith and Tom Wolfenden and Jenny Moore after both pairs comfortably won their last 16 matches.
In the women’s doubles, Bulgaria’s Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva continued to show why they are European champions as they beat England’s Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith 21-18 21-11.
They will face French fourth seeds Delphine Delrue and Lea Palermo, while the other semi-final will see Dutch duo Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen take on France’s Emilie Lefel and Anne Tran.
Piek and Seinen, the second seeds, fought back from losing the opening game to prevail 14-21 21-18 21-15 against Sweden’s Emma Karlsson and Johanna Magnusson.
The men’s doubles is also set up perfectly as Olympic bronze medallists Ellis and Chris Langridge sailed through their quarter-final against Richard Eidestedt and Peter Kaesbauer.
They will face fellow English pair Ben Lane and Sean Vendy, after the seventh seeds won a thrilling encounter with France’s Thom Gicquel and Ronan Labar 22-20 20-22 21-13.
In the other semi-final, Germany’s Lamsfuss and Marvin Emil Seidel, the third seeds, will take on Denmark’s David Daugaard and Frederik Søgaard, who beat England’s Peter Briggs and Gregory Mairs 21-18 21-12 to reach the last four.
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The Scottish Open Badminton Championships is being staged at the Emirates Arena by Badminton Scotland with support from Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
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