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Top Scots head to Vienna for the Austrian Open

Four players who won titles at the recent Yonex Scottish National Championships in Perth just over a week ago return to international action this week when they tackle the Austrian Open in Vienna, starting on Wednesday.

For Commonwealth Games and European silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour, who won her sixth women’s singles title and claimed her first mixed doubles crown in Perth, it will be her first international event since the Olympic Games after her long lay-off following knee surgery.

She will be joined in Vienna by five-times Scottish men’s singles champion Kieran Merrilees and 2016 winner Matthew Carder, as well as men’s doubles victors Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh.

Caitlin Pringle and Rebekka Findlay complete the Scotland squad for Austria where they tackle the women’s doubles.

Carder is the first Scot into action and needs three wins to reach the main draw from the men’s singles qualifying competition, where he is third seed. He starts against Raymond Webster of England.

If successful he will meet Rosario Maddaloni of Italy in the first round on Thursday.

Merrilees, who is the fourth seed, starts against Kai Schaefer of Germany and he won their only previous meeting. Spain’s Pablo Abian is top seed and is in the same half as Merrilees.

Gilmour has seen her ranking slide from a career best No. 15 to No. 56 during her period on the sidelines but she is still seeded No. 6 in the women’s singles and begins her challenge against Sofie Dahl of Denmark. Yui Hashimoto of Japan is top seed and Gilmour is seeded to meet the world No. 37 in the quarter-finals.

Gilmour has won both her previous matches with Dahl in straight games.

Campbell and MacHugh are fourth seeds and start with a contest against a pair from the qualifying competition. They can expect to face Denmark’s Alexander Bond and Nikolaj Overgaard in the second round.

Findlay and Pringle, runners-up in Perth, are fourth seeds in the women’s doubles and they begin against Irina Andersen and Julie Jakobsen of Denmark. It will be the first meeting between the pairs.