Kirsty Gilmour will go into the Scottish Open Grand Prix as favourite for the women’s singles title after the seedings were announced by the Badminton World Federation.
The Scotland No. 1 and leading GB player is top seed after her victories at the Forza Prague International and Yonex Dutch Open helped lift her to her current No. 24 in the world rankings. That makes her the highest-ranked player in the draw as she bids to better her runners-up spot in 2013 and semi-final place last year at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
She was, of course, also runner-up at the Commonwealth Games 14 months ago at the Emirates and will be up against strong competition again when the five-day Scottish Open gets under way on November 18.
Gilmour will have to withstand the challenge from Spain’s second seed and 2014 runner-up Beatriz Corrales and third seed Karin Schnaase, the German player she defeated to win the Dutch title. But as Gilmour said: “It’s always a treat to play in Glasgow. I look forward to it every year.”
This year’s entry is so strong that Gilmour is the only Scot seeded across the five draws. But promising youngster Adam Hall and Eleanor O’Donnell are top qualifying seeds in the mixed doubles while Ben Torrance, who was originally top seed in the men's singles qualifying, has moved up into the main draw. Julie MacPherson has been promoted from the reserve list to join Holly Newall in women's singles qualifying.
Kieran Merrilees will once again lead Scotland’s men’s singles challenge where two-time champion Rajiv Ouseph is second seed behind Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus. Ireland’s Scott Evans is third seed while Finland’s defending champion Ville Lang, who is another two-time winner, is only No. 9 seed in a strong men’s singles line-up.
In the men’s doubles India’s Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy, who have reached five finals this season and won the Belgium International title, are top seeds ahead of England pair Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis. Atttri and Reddy are bidding to be India’s first men’s doubles winners at the Scottish Open.
Defending champions Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva are top women’s doubles seeds with Germany’s Carla Nelte and Johanna Goliszewski No. 2 seeds and last year’s runners-up Heather Olver and Lauren Smith of England at No. 3. The England pair defeated the Germans in last year’s semi-finals.
In the mixed doubles Germany’s world No. 14s Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels will start as favourites as Fuchs looks to add to his 2008 title triumph with Annekatrin Lillie. Last year's men's doubles winner Mathias Christiansen is also among the seeds with his Danish partner Lena Grebak and Poland's former European champions Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba will also be strong contenders.
A total of 278 players from 37 nations have entered this year’s Scottish Open Grand Prix and BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “We are delighted with the quality of the entry but I am especially pleased that Kirsty is top seed in the singles. It is a reflection of all the hard work she has put in recently and that has been rewarded by her successes in the last four weeks, particularly in winning her first Grand Prix title in Holland.
“But Kirsty won’t be the only top player in action next month and it promises to be a fabulous tournament.”
Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Scottish Open Grand Prix will bring together some of the best talents from the world of badminton and we are delighted to be supporting the event in 2015. Almost 300 athletes and thousands of spectators will converge on Glasgow’s Emirates Arena and I think each will agree that it is an outstanding sporting venue that adds much to Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”
Tickets for the Scottish Open Grand Prix are still on sale. Go to www.badmintonscotland.org.uk for details and to book your tickets.
For the full list of seeds go to http://www.bwfbadminton.org/tournamentcalendar_event.aspx?id=21389