Gilmour faces big tests in Scottish Open draw

Kirsty Gilmour learned the size of her task if she is to lift the Scottish Open Grand Prix women’s singles title for the first time in Glasgow next month.

 The Commonwealth silver medallist and recent Dutch Open Grand Prix winner is top seed at the Emirates Arena from November 18-22 and she has drawn a start against a qualifier in the first round.

 But she is then likely to meet Denmark’s Bulgarian International winner Natalia Koch Rohde in her second contest and, if the draw unravels according to seeding, Swiss seventh seed Sabrina Jaquet and German third seed Karin Schnaase, whom Gilmour defeated to win the Dutch title, will bar her path to the final.

 Second seed and 2014 runner-up Beatriz Corrales has the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds in the shape of Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt, Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri and Ireland’s Chloe Magee in her half of the draw.

 In the men’s singles the Scotland challenge is once again led by Kieran Merrilees but he faces two-time former champion and 11th seed Anand Pawar of India in the first round. Ben Torrance, the young prospect who reached the second round last year, will do so again if he can overcome Mateusz Dubowski while Matthew Carder meets another Pole in Michal Rogalski.

 Denmark’s top seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus faces Frenchman Lucas Corvee in his first contest while England’s two-time champion and second seed Rajiv Ouseph starts against Czech No.1 Petr Koukal.

 Scotland’s men’s doubles hopes Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh failed to get the luck of the draw as they face a first-round test against second seeds Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge. The England pair are leading the GB Olympic race to qualify for Rio next summer in men’s doubles.

 If Campbell and MacHugh can pull off a shock they could face team-mates Alex Dunn and Josh Neil in the second round. But the youngsters would first need to overcome German pair Andreas Heinz and Fabian Holzer.

 Former men’s doubles winner Robert Blair is again giving young prospect Adam Hall the benefit of his experience but they face a hard test against another German pair in Raphael Beck and Peter Kaesbauer.

 In the women’s doubles Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell received a first-round bye when the draw was announced today but they gained scant reward as they must take on top seeds and defending champions Stefani and Gabriela Stoeva of Bulgaria in the second round.

 The draw was also tough on Rebekka Findlay and Kirsten Geals, who must defeat Linda Efler and Franziska Volkmann in the first round if they are to earn a crack at a second German pair in second seeds Carla Nelte and Johanna Goliszeski while Ciara Torrance and Toni Woods will take on Japan’s Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hiroto.

 Hall and O’Donnell carry Scotland’s hopes into the mixed doubles but they face a tall order against seventh seeds Gaetan Mittelheiser and Audrey Fontaine of France.

 A total of 278 players from 37 nations have made this the biggest entry since 2010 thanks to the Olympic qualifying race and the fact that Scotland will be staging the 2017 World Championships in the Emirates Arena.

 BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “We knew the draw would be tough on our players given the strength of this year’s entry. But we are delighted to be able to offer this quality of competition to our ever-growing badminton audience.”

 Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Scottish Open Grand Prix will see some of the world’s finest players come together for an incredibly exciting occasion, and we are delighted to be supporting it in 2015. Evidenced by the strength of the draw, the event is set to provide a tremendous experience for spectators at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, an outstanding sporting venue that adds much to Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

 To view the full draw go to http://www.bwfbadminton.org/tournamentcalendar_event.aspx?id=21389

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