Hall into two semi-finals at Scottish Open Badminton Championships

Adam Hall powered into two semi-finals on the Saturday afternoon of the Scottish Open as he secured men’s and mixed doubles victories with partners Alex Dunn and Julie MacPherson.

The 23-year-old was in resurgent form in front of a raucous Emirates Arena crowd, first toppling Danish duo Daniel Lundgaard and Julie Finne-Ipsen alongside MacPherson with a classy 21-14 21-14 win.

And he was in no mood to let that triumph diminish his determination in the men’s doubles, overcoming Swedish combination Carl Harrbacka and Melker Z-Bexell 21-17 21-8 with Dunn to also book his place in the semi-finals tonight.

Hall has been in scintillating form in the doubles format this week, showcasing his versatility as he prepares to face Chiang Chien-Wei and Ye Hong Wei in the men’s doubles semi-finals and Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje in the mixed.

But he remains wary of his workload, relieved to have got his men’s quarter-final wrapped up in two sets as he prepares for a blockbuster evening in Glasgow.

“It was nice to get the win done in two sets,” he said.

“It was good to scrape the first set in the end, and then once me and Alex started to control the rallies in the first four they had no chance.

“Especially when we’ve got more matches to play, the less time we spend on court the better.”

While Dunn will feature in just a solitary semi-final tonight after crashing out of the mixed doubles with Ciara Torrance yesterday, he was also ecstatic as the prospect of achieving victory on home soil edged ever closer.

But away from the court, he was just happy to make a positive first impression to a familiar face in the crowd.

“My mum, dad, auntie, uncle and my girlfriend are here today – it’s the first time my girlfriend has come to see me so I’m trying to impress her!” he joked.

“I could hear some of my friends supporting us in the crowd and there were some loud voices from some of the squad members.

“We struggled to get the win in the first set but in the second I thought we were really clinical and stuck to our plan.

“We’d lost to one of those guys before and it ended up being quite tricky for us, so we were out to get revenge and show them that we weren’t at our best last time.

“Our next opponents are pretty good, fast and strong players, but we’ll go back to our coach and do a bit of video work to then work out what our game-plan is.”

Hall and MacPherson’s mixed doubles efforts must not be neglected, however, as they eased past Lundgaard and Finne-Ipsen in the day’s opening game on Court One.

But despite moving into the last four, his partner said she was far from satisfied with their performance.

“We definitely need to up our game going into the semi-final,” MacPherson, 22, said.

“We’ve got some tough opponents and we lost to them in the Irish Open last week in a really tight game, so hopefully we can be on the other end of that tonight.”

There was also progression elsewhere for the Scots, as the popular Grimley brothers – Christopher and Matthew – came from a set behind to move into the semi-finals with a 19-21 21-16 21-18 triumph against Taipei pairing Wei Chun Wei and Wu Guan Chun.

The brothers didn’t do it the easy way, suffering a bodyblow with a first game defeat but demonstrating their resilience to impressively bounce back.

And Christopher believed it was the support of the crowd that helped them come through unscathed.

“Our parents and friends are here supporting and you can hear them in the crowd, which makes a difference and give us that energy to get over the line,” he said.

“They were a really strong pairing and were pretty solid in the serve and receive situation while they hit it really hard as well, so we just had to make sure we stuck to our plan.”

Matthew added: “That win feels amazing – we came out stronger and I felt we stuck to our game plan well which made the difference.

“Our plan was to not play too soft in the third shot as they’re a really fast pair, so we tried to just firm up in the first one and find the gaps after that.”

There was heartbreak for Scottish women’s doubles partnership MacPherson and Torrance, however, who succumbed to a close-run 20-22 21-17 18-21 defeat to number two seeds from Sweden Emma Karlsson and Johanna Magnusson.

It remained a valiant showing from the young duo though, who were visibly upbeat about their nevertheless positive performance.

“It was a really good game to be a part of – the crowd got behind us and it was good to put on a good performance in front of everyone, but it was hard to take at the end,” Torrance said.

“It’s definitely been a good few days and I’m really happy with how we played – it’s only our second tournament together and we’ve performed well and it’s been a really good experience.”

Elsewhere away from the Scots, number two men’s singles seed Toby Penty was sent crashing out by Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue, while Christo Popov continued his strong run with a win over Max Weisskirchen.

But the biggest shock of the afternoon came in the women’s singles quarter-finals, where number one seed Yvonne Li was dumped out by 21-year-old Danish star Julie Dawall Jakobsen.

“It means a lot to knock out the number one seed – we’re the same age so we know each other very well, and it’s always nice to beat Yvonne as she’s a good player so I’m really glad,” she said.

“I didn’t feel like I played that well yesterday but I’m glad I stayed focussed even though she was leading at points and it was a bit intense, so that was the key today.”

Full results are at www.tournamentsoftware.com

Tickets are on sale at badmintonscotland.org.uk/scottish-open/tickets

The Scottish Open Badminton Championships is being staged at the Emirates Arena by Badminton Scotland with support from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, and Yonex.

For more information contact Peter Dean, Head of Events, on 0141 445 1218 or email peter@badmintonscotland.org.uk