Hall conquers his demons as he and Dunn progress at the Scottish Open
Posted on 22nd November 2019
The home favourites and number three seeds were in scintillating form at the Emirates Arena, securing a well-earned 21-17 21-19 victory to battle through what looked to be one of the most difficult first round draws possible.
Christiansen and Daugaard soared to glory at the championship in 2016, defeating Hall and former partner Pete Mills to leave the Scottish star crestfallen yet determined for revenge.
And three years later he’s achieved that in style, putting his demons to rest as he and Dunn outclassed their Scandinavian opponents and delighted the supportive home crowd.
“I’ve still never been able to watch that game from 2016 back as it still haunts me to this day,” a jubilant Hall said.
“Today was on the same court as that match, we started at the same end and we won the first set, so I really did want to win that second set.
“I feel like I’ve put a few demons from that match to bed now and I can get a bit of closure now I’ve beaten them in this hall, so it was nice.
“Hopefully that win will give us a good boost and we can go far into the tournament this week.”
Dunn added: “We took a lot of confidence from beating them at the Irish Open last week – they’re a good pair, but towards the end of the game we just controlled our first four shots which really put them under pressure.
“It just shows that we are able to beat the best pairs here so we need to keep that going – we’ve got another tough match so we need to refocus and regroup.”
The home favourites will now face English duo Callum Hemming and Tom Wolfenden in the second round this evening, hoping to continue their form against a pair who earlier picked up an impressive 21-18 21-12 win against French partnership Toma Junior Popov and Christo Popov.
Dunn and Hall’s success was far from the only result the Scottish crowd had to shout about on what was fabulous Friday in Glasgow, as the precocious Grimley twins also progressed in the men’s doubles with an imperious 21-6 21-8 triumph against Jordan Edgar and William Freer.
The 19-year-old brothers were in ruthless form, kicking off their campaign with a bang and eager to continue building their momentum heading into their second round bout against Rory Easton and Ethan Van Leeuwen tonight.
“The first game together is always hard, but we’re now really trying to up our game for the next one,” Christopher said.
“We just tried to get a feeling for the hall today with our length and our shots, and just attack well.
“It’s nice to have the Scottish crowd in here today – it’s nice to see a lot of school kids in here who are bigging up the atmosphere, so it’s great.”
Matthew added: “I thought we played quite well but it’s going to just get even harder from here now.
“We need to be a bit sharper on our serve and receive situation.”
Elsewhere, youthful duo Alastair Campbell and Callum Smith achieved a memorable 22-20 21-14 triumph over England’s Dominic Ashton and Timothy Hull, a landmark victory for a pair who only qualified for the first round with a close-run win yesterday afternoon.
And although they are set to face Canadian number one seeds Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura later tonight, they are both visibly relishing the challenge.
“The next game against the top seeds will be a good experience, and hopefully an upset can happen!” Smith said.
“It would mean so much if we got to the semi-finals and I couldn’t even dream of it – I used to come here as a kid and watch the professionals, but for me to get there it would be unbelievable.”
Campbell added: “We’re ecstatic with that result – we’re really happy with how we played and we’re really looking forward to the next game.
“There was a lot of noise for us from the cheering fans which really helped us, so hopefully that support can help us through the next round as well!”
There was more success for Hall in the mixed doubles, as he and partner Julie MacPherson edged out a narrow 21-18 14-21 21-19 victory over Danish duo Mikkel Mikkelsen and Amalie Magelund.
But Hall’s men’s doubles partner did not have so much fortune in the mixed format, as Dunn succumbed to a similarly close-run three-game defeat with Ciara Torrance against the Netherlands’ Ties Van Der Lecq and Debora Jille.
Eleanor O’Donnell and Sarah Sidebottom had greater success in the women’s doubles, however, beating English partnership Nicola Gresty and Sian Kelly 17-21 21-18 21-12 to book their place in the second round.
And despite Lauren Middleton and Rachel Sugden going down to a 21-10 21-13 defeat to Scandinavian pairing and seventh seeds Julie Finne-Ipsen and Mai Surrow in the same event, it was O’Donnell and Sidebottom who continued to fly the Scottish flag high.
“I’m really happy that we came through it – the first set was a bit nervy and we’re still working on a lot of things, and we know that this is a difficult hall to play in as it’s quite slow,” O’Donnell said.
“The crowd was amazing – every year here it’s amazing with all the school kids in and with friends and family, so it’s really meaningful for us to be able to get a win like that.”
The stage is now set for a tantalising evening in the heart of Glasgow, with no fewer than seven Scottish doubles pairings preparing to take to the court as the competition really starts to hot up.
The Scottish Open Badminton Championships is being staged at the Emirates Arena by Badminton Scotland with support from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, and Yonex.