Sarah Sidebottom and Rachel Andrew produced an excellent women’s doubles run as they made it to the last four at the BWF 2022 Austrian Open.
The young shuttlers showcased their talent in the Badminton Verband arena in Graz, with some impressive displays as they stormed into the semi-finals.
Going deep into the tournament, Andrew and Sidebottom eventually faced off with Lee Chia Hsin and Teng Chun Hsun of Chinese Taipei on Sunday morning for a place in the final later that day.
In the end, the Polish Open champions proved too strong going through after a 21-8, 21-11 win, but it was still a positive week for Andrew and Sidebottom, who matched their recent run at the Slovenia International.
A first-round withdrawal from opponents Palak Arora and Unnati Hooda, set-up a last 16 tie with Danish duo Frederikke Lund and Ann-Sofie Husher Ruus.
And Sidebottom and Andrew were the second Scotland doubles pairing of the week to reach the last eight after a 21-13, 21-18 win on court five, going on to face Lise Jaques and England’s Lizzie Tolman.
They found their best form in the opener, building a healthy lead and controlling the battle at the net, taking the first game 21-15.
And they closed the quarter-final out comfortably with a masterclass in the second game, going through with the final score of 21-15, 21-12 and ensuring they made it to the last day of play in Graz.
Andrew in particular had a successful few days in Austria, also fighting her way to the last eight of the mixed doubles draw with Adam Pringle.
After Calle Fredholm and Amina Lysenko were defeated in straight sets, they faced the eighth seeds, European Junior bronze medallist Miha Ivanic and Petra Polanc from Slovenia.
Pringle and Andrew prevailed in a thriller, fighting back after losing the opener and going through with an 18-21, 21-18, 21-13 victory.
English pair Ethan Van Leeuwen and Chloe Birch had too much for them in the quarter-finals, advancing after a 21-13, 21-16 win, but Pringle and Andrew can hold their heads high after a strong display.
Elsewhere in Graz, Jack MacGregor and Pringle were in men’s doubles action, given a tough opening round task against third seeds Carlos Piris and Joan Monroy from Spain.
But that failed to phase the pair, who hit top gear from the very first serve, winning the opening game to stun their opponents.
The second was even more one-sided as MacGregor and Pringle rounded off a 21-10, 21-7 win to eliminate the seeds.
Ching Heng Su and Hong Wei Ye, edged a high quality second round clash 21-14, 21-15 to move into the last eight, but our boys will be proud after producing some excellent badminton over both games.
Meanwhile, Rachel Sugden was the sole Scottish singles main draw representative. The Alexandria shuttler was thrown in at the deep end against Keyura Mopati in the first round.
Sugden gave a battling display against a player on the verge of the world top 50, leading in the opening game, but eventually went down 21-16, 21-15 on court three.
She was also back in action in the women’s doubles, teaming up with fellow rising star Basia Grodynska.
The pair faced a tricky test against the home team of Lena Krug and Chiara Rudolf in the first round.
But Sugden and Grodynska rose to the occasion, taking the opener in convincing fashion, 21-10, before their opponents retired when trailing 11-2 in the second set.
Although they retired from the tournament before the next round, the trip to Austria still highlighted the potential of the duo as a doubles pair.
Sidebottom was also involved in the mixed doubles draw with MacGregor, and the Scottish team made the perfect start.
Round one saw them put away Spaniards Alvaro Leal and Paula Lopez with ease, securing a 21-11, 21-17 win.
The last 16 provided a sterner test against two high quality doubles players, Li Wei Su and Ching Hui Chang, but MacGregor and Sidebottom were at the top of their game, winning the opening set.
But the team from Chinese Taipei showed their class, fighting back to win an epic hour-long clash 18-21, 21-16, 21-15.