The draw has been made for the 2022 Yonex Scottish National Badminton Championships, which begin later this week and return to the Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth.
In the women’s singles event, Alexandria’s Rachel Sugden is the top seed, aiming to retain the championship she won for the first time last year when she defeated former Scottish university champion Basia Grodynska in the final 21-13, 21-16.
Sugden’s first hurdle this time will be Amishi Sood in the second round.
Now seeded second, Grodynska will be in the other half of the draw and looking to go one step further this time around. She takes on Iona Muir in a compelling second round match, with both players receiving byes in the first.
Muir is highly rated having won a hat-trick of titles at the under-15 national championships last year and provides a tricky first round test for the number two seed.
Both Sugden and Grodynska may have to get past one of Crieff’s Abbie Brooks and Toni Woods from Shotts, who share the third and fourth seeding. Woods takes on Imogen Meldrum in the second round, in the same half of the draw as Sugden, while Brooks will face Nuria Clowes.
In the men’s singles draw, youngster and defending champion Callum Smith is seeded first.
Another talented young shuttler, Joshua Apiliga of Glasgow, is placed second after losing to Smith in the 2021 final last August.
Smith opens up against Matthew Waring, with his first seeded opponent set to be Angus Meldrum in the quarter-final, should both progress without any hitches.
In the other half of the draw Apiliga opens up against James Leggate in the first round, on his way to a potential final four clash with Danny Robson.
Robson (from Lanark) and Bothwell’s Michael McGuire take up the joint 3/4 seed slots.
In the men’s doubles draw Alex Dunn and Adam Hall are the top seeds in what promises to be an intriguing event.
The pair, ranked 37th in the world, are looking to lift a trophy they last won in 2020, with Hall having missed the nationals last year through injury.
They start their campaign in the second round against the Smith brothers, Callum and Tyler, with both teams having received first round byes.
Seeded second are defending champions and 2021 Scottish Open winners, the Grimley twins, Christopher and Matt. The duo were in great form in the latter half of 2021 and are more than capable of upsetting the seeding in order to retain their national crown.
They start their 2022 campaign in the second round, where they will face the winners of the tie between Anthony and Michael McGuire and Jordan Edgar/Daniel Innes.
Joint 3/4 seeds are the intriguing team of Callum Crangle and his coach Thomas Bethell. They share this placing with Jack MacGregor and Adam Pringle, with both sides receiving byes to the second round.
In the women’s doubles the seedings sees Julie MacPherson and Ciara Torrance once again ranked first as they look to defend their national title.
MacPherson and Torrance produced a dominant display in last year’s final, beating Rachel Andrew and Lauren Middleton 21-16, 21-8 to retain their crown.
It was MacPherson’s fifth women’s doubles title in a row and they start as hot favourites again this year after the withdrawal of second seeds Rachel Andrew and Sarah Sidebottom.
Andrew withdrew injured and has been replaced by Holly Newall, who also found herself partnerless when Middleton withdrew with an injury.
And MacPherson is also the top seed in the mixed doubles draw where the 24-year-old is once again partnered with Hall, the two gunning for a third title together.
The team of Motherwell’s Dunn and Paisley’s Torrance are seeded second. They were runners-up in last year’s tournament after a closely contested final with Matt Grimley and MacPherson.
Meanwhile, Christopher Grimley will again team up with his winning partner from the 2020 Portuguese International, Eleanor O’Donnell while the other joint 3/4 pairing, Adam Pringle and Rachel Andrew, have withdrawn due to Andrew’s injury.
The first round matches get underway in Perth on Friday at 15.00hrs with men’s singles qualifying, before mixed doubles begins at 17.00hrs.
Play continues on Saturday from 09.00hrs with semi-finals on Sunday from 10.00hrs and finals from 14.00.
The full draws can be found at https://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament?id=B19702AA-98C9-4B53-B2E0-39055D5AA5FF