By RJ Mitchell
ADAM PRINGLE is hoping to continue his hot streak at this week’s AIG FZ Forza Irish Open.
The Scotland international reached the semi-finals of the recent Victor FZ Forza Hungarian International earlier this month when he partnered Rachel Andrew and Jack MacGregor to the last four of the Mixed and Men’s disciplines in Budapest.
Now as Adam prepares to go again in Dublin later this week, where he will be facing French and German opposition with Rachel and Jack respectively, the Scotland international admits that there can be no drop in standards.
Reflecting on all of this Adam shared: “In the Men’s Doubles we have the Germans Daniel Hess and Patrick Scheiel and I know they are both strong so we might need to play a soft game and take the net on quite a bit and certainly we will need to be at the top of our games.
“If we can get through then there is the possibility of meeting Andreas Sondergaard and Jesper Toft (Danish No.3 seeds), who made the final of the Scottish Open, and we have played them a few times but not beaten them.
“Last year we took them to three sets in the Irish but recently they made the final of the Hylo and are playing really well but we have knowledge and we know there are areas we can pressure them in.
“Then it’s the Welsh and if we can get a run at the Irish and finish strongly at our final tournament of the year in Wales that would be a good year for us.”
Turning his attention to this week’s Mixed campaign, with Adam and Rachel poised to face the French duo of Mael Cattoen and Emille Vercelot, the Scotland international said: “They are a really good young French pair and they have had some strong results in other competitions and it will be a tough first match.
“But after Hungary we have confidence and then it would be the top seeds (Terry and Jessica) from Singapore who recently beat Adam (Hall) and Julie (MacPherson) so that would be a real challenge.”
Looking back on the Hungarian International tournament, Adam admitted he was proud of an exceptional campaign which has highlighted the continued improvement and development of both himself and his partners.
He said: “In the Men’s Doubles we beat Italian, Spanish and Danish opposition before losing to Alex Green and Brandon Zhi Hao Yap (England, 17-21, 13-21) in the last four.
“Against the Italians, Jack and I didn’t really let them into it and we were just very solid on serve and return.
“With the Spanish pair our start wasn’t good but then we got on top of them and against the Danish we just stayed on top from the start and got the job done.
“With the English they are a very vocal pair and it was a tough match with us leading in the first set but the hall we were playing in was very fast and Brandon has an exceptionally hard smash which we were trying to avoid and perhaps was the difference.
“So we had a really good start and then they ramped it up and we struggled to deal with that speed but again overall it was a great run to the semis.
“We had been stuck in the quarters previously so it is great to get past that to the next stage and make semis and we are proud of that run.”
When it came to his Mixed campaign with Rachel in Hungary, Adam added: “Our first couple of matches were clinical against Polish and Danish opposition and our quarter-final against the Spanish pair (Fernandez and Lopez) was an epic where we saved several match points in the third set to win it 26-24 and to be able to hold onto that was really satisfying.
“Against the Danes Espersen and Kudsk (No.4 seeds) we lost the first 24-22 and if we had won that then things would have been different, what was frustrating was we had a lead and gave it away as Espensen really began to serve well.
“But overall it went very well and now Rachel and I need to keep that level up at the Irish this week.”
Looming large for Adam are the European Men’s Team Championship Qualifiers in England next month and interestingly for a doubles player Adam cites the singles as the key to Scottish hopes of making the finals in Poland next year.
As he explained: “It’s going to be tough. Ukraine has a decent squad and a very good singles player in Danylo Bosniuk (World No.83) and I think that first singles will be very tough for us to win whoever plays him.
“Doubles wise I don’t know so much about them but overall the key to these qualifiers, for me, will be the singles games.
“We are really pretty strong doubles wise with Adam (Hall) and Alex (Dunn), the Grimley twins and then Jack and I, but for our singles guys this is a great opportunity to get really good experience.
“It will be incredibly tough to get to the finals but if we can make it, it would really show we are not relying on the doubles.”
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