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Merrilees, Dunn & O’Donnell lead the way in Canada

Scotland’s challenge at the Yonex Canada Open got off to a winning start in Calgary yesterday.

Kieran Merrilees booked his place in the second round of the men’s singles with an emphatic win over Brazil’s Fabricio Farias 21-6 21-13.

That earned him a much tougher test tonight against Indian second seed H. S. Prannoy, who is ranked 46 places higher than the Scottish No. 1 at world No. 23. Prannoy won their only previous meeting at this year’s Yonex Swiss Open, taking a tight contest 21-17 21-19.

Alex Dunn and Eleanor O’Donnell were in mixed doubles action on day one and they won both their matches to book a place in the main draw.

The European Under 19 silver medallists won a close opening contest against Canada’s Adrian Liu and Kristen Tsai 21-18 21-19 then came through an equally tough match against Sattawat Pongnairat and Kuei-Ya Chen 24-22 21-17.

That earned them a place in the main draw where they face Canada’s top 50 pair of Toby Ng and Rachel Honderich this afternoon.

Kirsty Gilmour is the first Scot on court in the opening session when she takes on Korean seventh seed Jang Mi Lee in the women’s singles first round.

Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh quickly follow Gilmour into action when they face Trinidad’s Nicholas Bonkowsky and American Matthew Fogarty in the men’s doubles first round. Dunn and Adam Hall follow them in a lunchtime clash with second seeds Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko of Japan.

O’Donnell tackles her second event today when she and Julie MacPherson take on Japan’s Chisato Hoshi and Naru Shinoya in the women’s doubles. They have met once with the Japan pair winning in straight games at this year’s Portuguese International.

For the schedule and results go to www.tournamentsoftware.com