Posted on 6th March 2023
By RJ Mitchell
Adam Hall is hoping that a case of home comforts can boost his hopes of a glory run at the Yonex German Open which starts tomorrow.
Last year Hall and partner Julie MacPherson put a highly impressive sequence of results together to make the semi-finals of the Mixed Doubles where they were beaten by Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai who were at that time ranked World No.1.
Hall is also a regular visitor to Westenergie Sporthalle where he previously played in the German league for the local Mülheim team – this season Adam plays for TV Refrath.
All experience which Hall hopes to draw upon as he and Julie look to rediscover their best form by beating India’s Reddy B Sumeeth and Ashwini Ponnappa in their opening encounter.
Adam said: “It is almost a second home to me as I also play for the Bundesliga league team in Mulheim, so I have many happy experiences of playing in the Sporthalle on top of making the semi-finals last year with Julie in the mixed.
“But there is no doubt it is always good to go back to a place you are comfortable in and have had such a positive experience.
“Last year we avoided some of the big seeds largely because they lost to the people we beat but we had a good win against the English pair Callum Hemming and Jess Pugh, who were similarly ranked to us, which is always nice.
“Our quarter-final win against the Indonesian pair was also a really good win because of the circumstances with it being a really tight three-set match and a place in the last four at stake.
“So while I wouldn’t say we took any really big scalps we did stay at a very good level throughout the tournament and then we played Dechapol and Sapsiree, the then World No.1 ranked Thai pair, and that was just a great experience and one we learned so much from.
“Also I play both doubles in the German league and that is a really enjoyable competition to play in with it being best of seven matches, so I am very familiar with the surroundings and I hope both Julie and I can make that count this week.”
Yet familiarity is not the only reason the Scotland international prefers to play in Europe as Adam explained: “When you play in Asia the arenas are huge whereas in Europe they tend to be a bit smaller. That means in Asia you know that due to the size of the venue the wind caused by the ventilation systems will be all over the place and that makes life very tricky and takes time to adjust to.
“Whereas in Europe it will only be going one way so it is a bit easier to judge things and then of course over in Asia you also have the different culture but in Europe it is a lot more chilled out.
“So both Julie and I are very happy to be competing in Germany again this week.”
Adam was also impressively open about what he believes has been a dip in form of late and revealed that a solution is readily at hand after a summit meeting with the Scotland coaching staff as he explained: “To be honest we aren’t in the best of form right now and to be fair we didn’t do as well as we had hoped we would in France a fortnight back at the Europeans (Mixed Team Championships).
“Prior to that we played okay in Asia but we are not playing at the level we did last year when we had a good run through the Commonwealth Games, making the semis of the German and then the Swiss Open and we will just need to keep at it as it has not been the best couple of months for us.
“I think this is down to the fact people know us now and they are spending time analysing our game a lot more than they used to and have come up with different strategies to employ against us and we haven’t dealt with that the way we would have hoped.
“So we need to go back to the drawing board a wee bit and change things up. We know where we want to go and we know our top level is good enough to challenge anyone in the top-20 but we need something else to throw them off how we normally play.
“We had a good discussion with the coaches before we left for Germany in terms of how we can mix things and change it up a bit, so we are clear about what we need to work on and it is great when you have these conversations and you are certain of your goals and are all on the same page.”
Hall and MacPherson are currently ranked World No.25 and should they negotiate their first round a reunion with some old foes who have now reached the exalted status of a World No.5 ranking will await in the form of formidable French duo Thom Giquel and Delphine Delrue.
Casting his eye over the draw Adam said: “We have Sumeeth and Ponnappa a strong Indian pairing in the first round and if we get through that one we will almost certainly face the No.2 seeds from France Giquel and Delrue which will be quite tough.
“That said we played them twice in 2018 and won both matches and although we have not played them since we have always wanted to have another crack at them and now with how their game has come along if we can get past the Indians to play them right now would be a good gauge for us of where we are at.”
In the Mixed Doubles, Alex Dunn and Ciara Torrance will look to overcome Philip Birker and Katharina Hochmeir of Austria.
In the Women’s Doubles Julie MacPherson and Ciara Torrance face Canada’s Catherine Choi and Josephine Wu.
While Christopher and Matthew Grimley face the French pairing of Lucas Corvee and Ronan Labar in the Men’s Doubles.
Kirsty Gilmour will meet China’s World No.17 Zhang Yi Man in the Women’s Singles who is ranked just two places above the Scot.