By RJ Mitchell
JULIE MACPHERSON AND CIARA TORRANCE have vowed to use their run to the semi-final of the 2023 Scottish Open as a springboard to kick on.
The Scots hopes of ensuring Scottish finalists at the 2023 Scottish Open were extinguished at the Emirates Arena tonight when Japan’s Maiko Kawazoe and Haruna Konishi proved just too defensively resolute in a high quality Women’s Doubles last four 21-16, 13-21, 8-21.
But Julie and Ciara, who have had to endure an injury blighted summer, can take enormous credit from their efforts.
Taking stock of that afterwards Julie said: “We are both physically knackered right now. We put so much effort into winning the first game and then they just got tougher and tougher to smash the holes through and we gave it absolutely everything.
“But their defence was incredible – bottom line.”
With the Scots taking the opening game 21-16 the early portents were good but even in the opening stanza, in which Julie and Ciara played so well, there were warning signals as the Japanese defence tightened up and they saved six set points.
If anything the visitors’ level of defensive resilience rose in the second set and repeatedly – Kawazoe and Konishi found a way back into a rally they had no business to still be in and then confounded even that by winning it as they did the set 21-13.
For Ciara there was no reason not to be cheerful when it came to the bigger picture and she said: “100% we should be happy with how we have played this week and making the final. Obviously it is disappointing not to make the final and going out on a loss but after the season we have had with injury we have got to be happy with this effort.
“One thing is for sure we will learn from it.”
Inscrutable and indomitable the Japanese duo were at times sponge like in their defence, try as they might, and at one point I’m sure the kitchen sink was hurled, Julie and Ciara could not consistently punch holes in the Japanese rearguard, despite a supreme effort they can be well proud of.
Now Kawazoe and Konishi will face the World No.20 top seeded Bulgarians Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva who proved just too street smart for Germany’s Stine Kuespert and Emma Moszczynski defeating the No.3 seeds 21-15, 21-12.
It is a final which is a fascinating prospect.
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