Campbell and Smith qualify for men’s doubles at Scottish Open
Posted on 21st November 2019
The Scottish duo edged out a pulsating 22-20 19-21 21-17 victory over Wales’ Tsung Fong Mo and Victor Pang in the qualifiers, using the energy of the partisan home crowd to creep over the line after at one point surrendering a one-game lead.
The precocious pairing will now face England’s Dominic Ashton and Timothy Hull in Round One tomorrow, hoping to use their first day momentum to mount a memorable run on what is shaping up to be a Friday to remember at the Emirates Arena.
“I’m buzzing – it was really tough in the third set but I’m just glad to have won it to be honest,” Campbell said.
“We were attacking quite well – we took control of the net area and managed to get through them almost every time, which was where we were winning most of our points.
“I need to work more on my service game, but I feel like we’ve got a really good chance tomorrow.”
Smith added: “It was good to be a part of, especially with the home crowd – they helped us get through it and we could hear them after we had some good rallies, so that motivated us to keep going.”
Elsewhere in the Men’s Doubles, Michael McGuire and Danny Robson looked to have been safely navigated their way through their qualifying campaign before a 17-2116-21 defeat to English duo Koon Fung Kelvin Ho and Pak Yu Ng, while Alistair Gordon and Mark Leith lost to Rasmus Espersen and Emil Hybel.
And there were also defeats for the pairings of Calvin Chan and Kenneth Cheung and Jacob Reynolds and Eddie Tung, while Lewis Hart and Isaac Weir also went down to a loss on a disappointing afternoon for many of the crowd favourites in Glasgow.
Chan and Cheung were toppled 13-21 21-16 12-21 by Welsh duo Paak Shing Raymond Chong and Paak Yee Chong, capping off a qualifying stage where many of the Scottish players failed to find their usual fluency.
“We came here with confidence and thought we could do well, but it just didn’t go our way today there were just a couple of mistakes from us,” Chan said.
“We didn’t retain things well, but we’ve been training well and we’ve been getting some good results recently.”
Cheung added: “We just need to improve on our consistency – it’s our first time playing in this big hall, and it was a tricky situation, and it’s just a case of not keeping to try and go for a winner and to try and keep the rally going.
“We’ve got the Scottish Nationals coming soon, so hopefully we can try our best and play better than we did today.”
The Mixed Doubles also proved a difficult affair for the Scots to handle, as Jack MacGregor and Holly Newall – Scotland women’s number two – failed to hold on to a one-game advantage over second seeds Callum Hemming and Lizzie Tolman and succumbed to a 21-18 16-21 9-21 defeat.
Callum Smith and Erin Waddell were also knocked out by the dangerous English duo, while Lewis Hart and Jodie Black and Christopher Grimley and Eleanor O’Donnell also suffered premature departures from the competition.
In the Women’s Singles, Scotland number five Lauren Middleton suffered a surprise defeat to England’s Michelle Ting, while young prodigy Toni Woods went down to a 12-21 14-21 loss to Hungary’s Vivien Sandorhazi.
And Woods, who plays competitive badminton in the Danish league and lives and trains at the Badminton Europe Centre of Excellence in Holbaek, said she has lessons to learn after her sobering exit from the competition.
“In my mind I didn’t play my best performance – it’s a very difficult hall to play in and I didn’t play in the best way that I could have,” she admitted.
“I was struggling to get my length a lot and allowed her to hit lots of winners against me.
“Because it’s such a big hall here you’re never going to get through anybody with power and it’s slow, so it’s about trying to make angles which I was then making mistakes on.
“In future, I just need to practice moving the shuttle around the hall a bit more, so that when I play in a big hall like this I’ve got more chance of keeping the rally going and making my opponent make the mistake rather than me.”
While the Men’s Singles saw no Scots compete in the qualifying rounds, sixth seed Joran Kweekel progressed to the First Round with victor over Yu Sheng Po, while there was a surprise as eighth qualifying seed Ivan Rusev was knocked out after a 13-21 21-13 15-21 loss against Germany’s Max Weisskirchen.
And fourth qualifying seed Abhinav Manota also progressed to the first round, who will be joined by Czech Republic’s Adam Mendrek who won a scintillating encounter against Australian player Anthony Joe.
With the opening afternoon of the Championship now all said and done, attention turns to what promises to be an absorbing evening session under the atmospheric Emirates lights.
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