Edinburgh-born Robert Blair, Longniddry’s Paul van Rietvelde and Glasgow’s Imogen Bankier are the three Scots involved in today’s main draw of the Yonex All-England Badminton Open in Birmingham.
In the last match on court yesterday, Van Rietvelde and England’s Marcus Ellis won through in thrilling fashion in the men’s doubles qualifying when they came back from dropping the first game to defeat South Korea’s Ji Wook Kang and Sang Joon Lee 19-21, 21-18, 22-20.
The British pair had earlier overcome Malaysia’s Phillip Chew and Sattawat Pongnairat 21-19, 21-12. Blair and Malaysia’s Bin Shen Tan made it through by beating English pair Chris Coles and Matthew Nottingham 21-11, 15-22, 21-9 before enjoying an easier 21-11, 21-10 win over Belgium’s Mattjis Dierickx and Freek Golinski.
Bankier teamed up with the vastly experienced Petya Nedelcheva (Bulgaria) in the women’s doubles and they made it through the two rounds of qualifying with a 21-6, 21-15 triumph over England’s Heather Oliver and Kate Robertshaw and a 21-14, 21-16 victory over Dutch pair Samantha Barning and Eefje Muskens.
Edinburgh’s Jillie Cooper lost out at the final hurdle with Kirsty Gilmour in the women’s doubles, going down 14-21, 11-21 to Thailand’s Serithammarak and Peeraya Munkitamorn.
Gilmour, the 19-year-old Scottish Champion, similarly failed to make it into the main draw of the women’s singles. The Bothwell teenager came from behind to defeat Malaysia’s Jing Yi Tee 15-21, 21-14, 21-16 in the first qualifying round but then lost 10-21, 17-21 to France’s Sashina Vignes Waran.