Scotland’s challenge at the Finnish Open 2017 came to an abrupt end today when Mathew Carder went out of the men’s singles and Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh fell in the doubles.
It was particularly disappointing for Carder, who last night produced one of several upsets on day two when he knocked out Russia’s fifth seed Vladimir Malkov 21-13 21-17.
That earned him a quarter-final this morning against Denmark’s Rasmus Genke but Carder was unable to reproduce last night’s performance and bowed out 21-17 21-10.
Second seeds Campbell and MacHugh had also clinched a quarter-final place last night when they defeated Italy’s Giovanni Greco and Rosano Maddaloni 21-7 21-11.
But the Scots followed Carder out of the exit door when they went down 13-21 21-11 21-16 against unseeded Japanese pair Kohei Gondo and Tatsuya Watanabe.
Young Scots hit back at European Juniors
Meanwhile Scotland bounced back from their opening 3-2 defeat by 5/6 seeds Spain to defeat Netherlands 4-1 at the European Junior Championships 2017 in Mulhouse last night.
That kept them in with a chance of making the knockout quarter-final stages on Monday – but their hopes of progressing all but disappeared this afternoon when they went down 4-1 against Bulgaria with just tonight’s final group match against Portugal to come.
Against the Netherlands Holly Newall lost 21-16 21-19 against Debora Jille in the opening singles but Alex Dunn levelled the match with a 21-18 21-13 win over Joran Kweekel.
After that the young Scots never looked back with Eleanor O’Donnell and Ciara Torrance defeating Jille and Imke Van Der Aar 21-17 16-21 21-19 before Christopher and Matthew Grimley secured the 3-1 winning lead by beating Sebastian Ming Kee Li and Ties Van Der Lecq 21-9 21-13.
It was then left to Dunn and O’Donnell to finish the job with a 21-13 21-15 win over Kweekel and Van Der Aar.
Coach Robert Blair said: “We managed to get an excellent 4-1 win over Netherlands.
“Alex managed to win his singles against a strong Dutch player who tried to dominate with his height. He played the important points well and never let up once ahead in the second game.
“The girls’ doubles was crucial in turning the match in our favour. After controlling the first set, the Dutch were on the ascendancy until the girls broke free from 16-all in the third, leaving their best rallies until the end.
“The men's doubles was again a strong, no nonsense performance and left Alex and Eleanor to finish off against a dejected Dutch team.
“This was important to keep alive our chances of qualifying from a strong, evenly-matched group.”
But there was disappointment this afternoon when the Scots fell to Bulgaria.
It could have been different if O’Donnell and Torrance had won the closest of women’s doubles. The Scots saved three match points before losing 21-17 16-21 24-22 against Maria Delcheva and Hristomira Popovska.
Dunn and O’Donnell had got the Scots off to a winning start by taking the mixed against Popovska and Ivan Panev. But Rachel Sugden went down 21-18 15-21 21-17 against Mihaela Neycheva and Dunn retired in his singles when tailing Dimitar Yanakiev 19-21 21-13 9-1.
After the women’s doubles defeat all that remained was for the Grimley twins to face Panev and Daniel Nikolov in the final doubles and they went down 21-19 21-14 to give Bulgaria a 4-1 win.
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