By RJ Mitchell
ADAM HALL is relishing in the prospect of meeting Indonesia’s sixth seeded Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana in the first round of the Denmark Open tomorrow.
Adam and partner Alex Dunn are in two each head-to-head deadlock with the 2022 All England Men’s Doubles champions and are determined to post a win which would help them translate promising passages of play into solid success.
Yet for Adam the match-up at the Jyske Bank Arena will provide an interesting style challenge which will demand total focus from his partnership with Alex as they look to go deep in Denmark.
Reflecting on all of this, the Scottish Men’s Doubles champion said: “This will be the fifth time we have played them and it’s two each. We beat them at the world champs and Japan last year and they are a really good pair who won the All England 18-months back.
“Every time we have played them it has been tight but we can go in with confidence and we just need to make sure we are strong at the key moments but we always enjoy playing them.
“They play in a specific way as a lot of Indonesian players have a back court player and a front court player and that is the formation they are comfortable with whereas a lot of other countries are more free-flowing these days.
“So, they like the flat game as well and it is always a tough test against these guys but we have beaten them before and we can do it again.”
Last week in Finland at the Arctic Open, the Scots duo lost their second round clash with Malaysia’s No.3 seeded Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi 17-21, 14-21, despite a performance full of promise in which the Scots failed to capitalise on hard fought advantages.
This is something Adam is determined to build on for this week’s campaign: “I feel like we are in a bit of a rut against these top pairs and we played a pretty good game but didn’t cash -in on it.
“We were the better pair in the first set, but didn’t execute the points as well as we could have, then in the second set we were up until the turn and then they got a run of points and we were chasing the game and it felt like we just couldn’t get on top of them.
“That was annoying as we were playing a good game and at a decent level but we just couldn’t get the win.
“So it is frustrating as we played well but then we didn’t get the win and ultimately that is what counts.
“But these are all things we must learn from and move on from this week.”
The Scottish champions also landed in the second round after the benefit of a walkover, which as Adam explained was not necessarily an advantage: “You never want to get walkovers into the second round as you want that feel for the hall and to be played in to the tournament, especially if you are playing one of the highest seeded pairs.
“So we were lucky we had both played Mixed Doubles as well but it would have been nice to get a game together from a Men’s Doubles perspective.
“But you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth when you are handed a second round and the ranking points that goes with it at this level.”
For Adam and Julie MacPherson there was a first round defeat in Finland at the hands of newly crowned Scottish champions, Mads Vestergaard and Christine Busch, which Adam felt was down to some ring rust.
He explained: “The word rusty is how we described the match as we just hadn’t spent a lot of time on court together. Really since around June we have been at different tournaments and I’ve been playing league matches in Denmark and we have only really had two games at the World Champs since the Singapore Open in early summer.
“So we have lost some sharpness in our match play and these guys have come in off the back of winning the Scottish Open and playing a lot of matches on the European circuit and they were just better than us.
“But we have four tournaments on the bounce now and we just have to keep at it as we will get that sharpness back.”
Returning to his decision not to play at the Scottish Open, Adam revealed that the complexities of taking care of his conditioning, when it comes to the demands of playing multiple tournaments in succession, was the deciding factor.
He explained: “I don’t have any regrets over the decision not to play the Scottish. It was a tough decision not to play my home event but with the amount of tournaments we have coming up with four-in-a-row in Europe, five days at home and then two weeks in Asia, it was the right call.
“With me playing two events at each tournament, from my body’s point of view, to add another tournament on that when it was the only full week of training I could get before this block, it was definitely the right decision.
“Though maybe not match wise for Julie and me as a mixed pairing, although we knew we had a run of events to follow. But physically for me it was the best choice to take.”
Now Adam and Julie face Chinese Taipei opposition, Yang-Po Hsuan and Hu Ling Fang, with revenge on their minds: “We lost to them in the world champs and they are a good pair with hard attacks and good with their flat game and we need to play smart and come in with a different plan this time.
“There are certain areas that are really dangerous to play them in and we need to be switched on to that.”
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