Thrilling super Saturday sets up 2021 Scottish Open finals

It will be an all-Malaysian contest in the men’s singles final at the 2021 Scottish Open.

This was after the two highest-seeded players had already both exited the competition at the quarter-final stage on a Saturday of surprises in Glasgow.

Tze Yong Ng will be going for his third title of an impressive season in the tournament finale, after he got past fellow countryman Sholeh Aidil in the first semi.

Aidil was promoted from qualifying after the withdrawal of original top seed Kevin Cordon, but put together a great run of form this week to reach the last four.

But Tze Yong was too strong and secured the win, 21-15, 21-15.

Earlier, flying Frenchman Arnaud Merkle continued his good form with a stunning 21-16, 21-16 win against the second seed Ygor Coelho.

The 24-year-old Brazilian had looked in good form this week but had no match for Merkle’s court coverage.

“I think I played well yesterday but possibly even better today,” said Merkle.

“It was a tough start, he (Coelho) came out very strong. But at the end of the set I kept pushing hard, I felt very good on court.

“I was more comfortable on the right side and once I realised this I controlled the game way better.

“There was a bit of a stress to win at the end but I focused on my tactics and managed to hold on.”

But the semi-final proved a step too far for the impressive Frenchman, as he succumbed 21-18, 21-19 to Malaysian Joo Ven Soong, who will be back on Sunday.

The 2016 runner-up has looked in good form this week in Glasgow and had already eliminated third seed Toby Penty earlier in the day, 21-17, 21-13.

The match struggled for flow, with the Englishman in particular unable to get into his rhythm.

Despite the defeat, the former champion still took the positives from his week in Glasgow.

“I was in a good position but he played a couple of good rallies in the first game that completely swung the match to be honest,” said Penty.

“I never really found my way back into it after that and never got the rhythm again. It was disappointing but just one of those performances today.

“My thing here was to try and get some matches before the World Championships which was a big aim. I love playing here, it is still one of my favourite places to play.”

Over in the final four of the women’s singles Irish Open champion Wen Chi Hsu took on third seed Kristin Kuuba in a marquee match on court two.

Chinese Taipei’s Hsu had already beaten sixth seed Gayle Mahulette in the quarters but felt she still had room to improve.

Kuuba meanwhile had navigated a potentially tricky tie with Denmark’s Amalie Schulz, 21-16, 21-18.

In the semi the Estonian was no match for an in-form Hsu, who wrapped up an impressive 21-11, 21-2 inside 25 minutes.

She will meet Line Hojmark in Sunday’s final in a rematch of the final from Ireland last week.

This was after the Dane’s opponent Wen Yu Zhang of Canada retired injured, just three points in to the second semi-final.

Over in the women’s doubles, top seeds Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai are into the final.

The Canadians got past Alyssa Tirtosentono and Imke Van Der Aar, seeded eighth, with minimal fuss winning 21-16, 21-9.

“We are really relieved,” said Honderich. “Although we are first seeds, I think at these challenger tournaments anyone is capable of winning, and you can’t necessarily consider yourselves the favourites.

“It was one of our cleaner performances and we stuck to our tactics well.

“We are really excited to be in that final tomorrow, I can’t wait to get back on court.”

They will be up against Malaysia’s Anna Ching Yik Cheong and Mei Xing Teoh, who beat Dutch duo, Debora Jille and Cheryl Seinen in the other semi-final 11-21, 21-10, 21-10.

There was more Malaysian doubles delight over in the men’s draw, where surprise package Junaidi Arif and Muhammad Haikal took on India’s Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnu Vardhan Panjala.

This was after they had stunned top seeds Adam Hall and Alex Dunn earlier in the day.

A real tug-of-war match went to a deciding game, which Arif and Haikal took, winning 16-21, 21-18, 21-18.

After the English team of Jessica Pugh and Callum Hemming made it through to the mixed doubles final, Indians Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto joined them with a 21-19, 21-14 win over Jesper Toft and Clara Graversen.

The eventual winners produced a superb display, continuing the good form they have shown not only this week, but at the Indian International Challenge event which they won earlier this month.

The Scottish Open Badminton Championships is being staged at the Emirates Arena by Badminton Scotland with support from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Event Scotland and Yonex. Full results are at, and tickets are on sale at