It proved a Saturday night to remember for Adam Hall and Alex Dunn as they waltzed their way into the men’s doubles final at the Scottish Open with an imposing win over Taipei duo Chiang Chien-Wei and Ye Hong Wei.
The popular pairing glowed under the Emirates Arena lights, dismissing their spirited opponents 21-19 21-10 in the semi-finals to unerringly book their place in a maiden Scottish Open final together against dangerous Danish duo Jeppe Bay and Mikkel Mikkelsen.
It wasn’t all light work for the pair, however, battling through a gritty first set but coming through majestically in the second to the delight of an adoring home crowd.
And Hall, who lost in the men’s doubles finals here alongside former partner Peter Mills in 2016, believes he can use that heartache of defeat to help inspire him to glory on Sunday evening.
“I’m still gutted about my final loss in 2016, so hopefully this will really put those memories to bed tomorrow,” the 23-year-old said.
“I’ve always said if I win this tournament it would rank top in my achievements, unless I won an Olympic Games or Commonwealth medal, but it’s definitely next after that.
“We’re absolutely buzzing – that was a really good performance, especially in the second set, and we’re really glad to be back in the final and looking forward to playing in front of that big home crowd tomorrow night.”
An elated Dunn, whose girlfriend was watching him in the crowd for the first time on Saturday, added: “We’re buzzing for the final tomorrow and hopefully we can convert it this time – it would be so special to win in the Scottish Open.
“If we were to win the trophy it would be absolutely amazing – I’ve been in a couple of finals and just missed out, but to do it and win here at the Scottish Open where we’ve come and watched for years would be a dream come true.”
But they will be facing a formidable partnership in the final in Bay and Mikkelsen, who earlier in the night eliminated the precocious Grimley twins – Christopher and Matthew – 21-15 21-18 to end their memorable Scottish Open run.
The 19-year-old brothers have enjoyed a tournament to remember, impressing in front of family and friends alike but falling just short in the semi-finals against the Great Danes.
And while they were visibly despondent as they departed the court, they were able to view the positives and take an upbeat attitude as they embark on what promises to be an exciting career.
“There are a lot of positives to take, but because we’ve just lost we’re taking the negatives – once we realise how far we’ve got though, we’ll be happy,” Christopher said.
“It’s amazing to do so well in our home town – we’ve got the Welsh Open next week so we just need to take those positive points.”
Matthew added: “We’ve taken a lot from this event and we’ve gained a lot of experience from just playing that one match, so we’re just going to keep going and we’ll try and come back stronger.
“We’re quite disappointed – we definitely had a chance there, but we didn’t feel like we were quite as free in that game and we were a bit restricted in our shots and didn’t get into our game plan that well.
“We tried to play a bit more softly in front of the bigger guy as he can really thump it, but we let him get on top of the game and give him a lot of time where he was good.”
There was also last four heartbreak for Hall and Julie MacPherson in the mixed doubles, with the Danes proving the thorn in the Scots’ side again as second seeds Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje won 21-16 21-14.
The result prevented Hall from reaching what would have been a remarkable pair of finals, while for MacPherson it represented her second defeat of the day after her quarter-final exit with Ciara Torrance in the women’s doubles.
But the 22-year-old star, who competed for Scotland in the Gold Coast at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, hopes her Scottish Open experience will serve her well in the long-run as she bids for a second Games in Birmingham in 2022.
“I still want to stick to competing in two doubles formats in the future – I don’t think I’ll be dropping one for long time, if at all,” she said.
“I definitely have aspirations for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – I was there in the Gold Coast but I definitely want to qualify for 2022 and that would be my main goal.
“The lessons I learned there were that just I want to qualify for the next one – it was such a good experience that I just want to be there again.”
Elsewhere in Saturday’s evening session, Indian number one seed Lakshya Sen survived a considerable scare from France’s rising star Christo Popov to win in three sets, while Ygor Coelho beat Jason Anthony Ho-Shue in the other semi-final to tee up a tantalising final.
In the women’s singles, Sung Shuo Yun defeated Line Christophersen to book a date with fourth seed Qi Xuefei – who eased past Julie Dawall Jakobsen in her semi – in the final.
Amelie Magelund and Freja Ravn and Julie Finne-Ipsen and Mai Surrow both won their semis to meet in the women’s doubles final, while in the mixed Mathias Bay-Smidt will face Christiansen and Boje.
But after a super Saturday to remember for Hall and Dunn, all attention now turns to Sunday’s grand finale where they will bid to achieve prestigious Scottish Open greatness on home soil.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org