Posted on 6th October 2023
By RJ Mitchell
RACHEL SUGDEN has described her Scottish Open first round victory over No.7 seed Kisona Selvaduray as the best win of her season.
Despite the fact there is a 107 place chasm in the rankings between the duo this was very much a case of never mind the gap for Rachel who showed impressive mental fortitude during tense times at the end of the second set to prevail 21-19, 21-18.
What was perhaps most impressive about Rachel’s performance was that after having early success with her overheads, particularly on the smash, when her accuracy wavered, she continued to stick with it and reaped the reward for her bravery.
Speaking to Badminton Scotland post-match Rachel shared: “Definitely this was the best result of my season and I was really proud of how I managed that game.
“I haven’t felt myself these last few tournaments so to come through that match on the winning side meant a lot and was the high point of my season so far – for sure. It was amazing!”
Impressively candid in her summation of a standout performance against the World No.64, Rachel admitted a little bit of help from an increasingly engaged home crowd helped her over the finishing line:
The world no.171 said: “This is my first proper Scottish Open and hearing people rooting for me in the crowd was just really nice, it meant a lot, especially at the end.
“I did feel myself getting quite nervous towards the end of the second set when I realised I was going to be in with a shout.
“I knew when I went on it was going to be a really tough match and to be honest I was quite surprised that I was doing so well.
“So what pleased me most was that I managed to stay strong when maybe in the past I haven’t.”
When it came to the shoot-out at the end Rachel was happy to have stuck to her guns: “I think before I would have lost faith in these shots and stopped playing them but this time I knew I needed to keep playing the attacking shots and I stuck with it and they came through.”
Rachel will now play either fellow Scot Iona Muir or Sweden’s Mirjam Lindgarde.
However Scottish champion Lauren Middleton just failed to join Rachel in the second round when she came up agonisingly short against Saffron Morris of Wales 21-10, 18-21, 10-21.