Unseeded Grimleys Hoping To Fly Under The Radar in European Championship Draw

By RJ Mitchell

CHRIS GRIMLEY is hoping a good draw in the European Championships will allow his partnership with twin brother Matthew to fly under the radar at the European Championships.

With only the top eight doubles combos being seeded, which includes fellow Scots Alex Dunn and Adam Hall in the No.5 berth, the Grimleys are crossing their fingers that they will land unseeded opposition in Saarbrücken, Germany on April 8.

World Championship silver medallists and European Games champions Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen are top-seeded with German’s defending champions Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel also among the favourites.

Home From Home:

But with the Grimley’s having plenty of experience of playing at the Saarlandhalle due to their German League commitments with BC Wipperfeld the duo are hoping that familiarity may prove their ace in the pack.

Reflecting on all of this Chris said: “The draw comes out soon and we know Saarbrucken well as we play for a German side BC Wipperfeld in the German Leagues and we were through playing there at the weekend and the build-up is well under way with a lot of advertising going on and it was all quite exciting.

“So we have played the Saarlandhalle before and it is quite a fast arena but we are pretty comfortable with it and have played a couple of times there in club matches so there will be no surprises there, which is a big plus for us.

“Obviously there are a lot of good men’s doubles pairs at the Europeans and we aren’t seeded so we are hoping to go under the radar and just see if we can cause an upset or two.

“But the luck of the draw will have a lot to say about that so fingers crossed.

Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Fingers Crossed For The Draw:

Turning the microscope on the opposition in the men’s doubles Chris said: “Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen are the top seeds and they made the final of the Worlds last year and are going to be very hard to beat, so with a bit of luck we aren’t in their half of the draw!

“The Germans Lamsfuss and Seidel are the reigning champions and will be tough in Germany and then the English pairing of (Sean) Vendy and (Ben) Lane are strong and were bronze medallists in Madrid two years back. Then of course Alex (Dunn) and Adam (Hall) are seeded as well and will be looking for a medal.

“But there is also another Danish pairing of Rasmus Kjær and Frederik Søgaard, who were runners up at the Canada Open last year, and they are also going to be tough.

“So the standard is just really high but we are really looking forward to it.”

European Championship Build-Up Begins in Poland:

Before the Grimleys head to the Europeans there is a busy tournament schedule to negotiate which starts with this week’s Orlen Polish Open.

As Chris admitted this will be crucial to their hopes of going deep in Saarbrücken.

He said: “We made the semis last year but we have a tough draw this week against the Dutch pair of Ties Van Der Lecq and Brian Wassink

“They are quite a good pair and had a very good result at the German and they also almost beat a very good Danish pair.

“Their top level is very good and although I’d say we may be favourites there is no way we can underestimate them.

“So they have a strong game in them and we will need to be concentrated but we also have the Taipei pair seeded No.5 in our quarter.

“We watched them at Orleans last week and they were pretty strong, so there are some tough matches with it being a strong entry but we are looking forward to this week in Poland.”

Form Guide:

The Polish Open is the third tournament in a four event sequence for the Grimleys with the Spanish Masters to follow and Chris is happy with his partnership’s progress.

He commented: “In Germany we lost to a Taipei pairing in round two and then in Orleans last week we lost in the second round to the Danish pair No.2 seeds Lundgaard and Vestergaard (22-24, 21-16, 18-21) after beating a pretty good German pair in the first round.

“So two second rounds, given the quality of the opposition we have been playing, is not too bad and especially against the Danes last week we were very close to getting that win with it going to 18 in the third and having lost the first on the tie – breaker.

“We have been playing with a bit of confidence recently after the form we had at the end of the year and we have been pretty solid and it is just about closing out the tight matches like the one with the Danes last week.”

Area Of Improvement:

When it came to an area of improvement which his partnership is working on Chris shared: “Overall we are playing pretty consistently and being strong in the first three shots is, I’d say, the key,” he said.

Before adding: “There are so many points won in these first three shots and if you are good in this respect it really makes the difference.

“So we are just looking to perform consistently in Poland and then Spain and really try and give ourselves some momentum going into the Europeans.

“So the next two weeks are very important in this regard.”

Scottish Seeds For Europeans:

Meanwhile three-time silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour has been seeded No.4 for the European Championship Women’s Singles with newly crowned All England champion Carolina Marin No.1 ranked.

Danish ace Mia Blichfeldt, a silver medallist at the European Games last year, will also be determined to upgrade her two European bronze medals from 2018 and 2022.

In the Women’s Doubles Julie MacPherson and Ciara Torrance are seeded No.6.

With three-time European champions Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva seeded third but chasing a fourth successive title, and top seeds Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen determined to finally strike gold after four bronze medals, the women’s doubles looks particularly competitive