(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Scotland miss a big chance
Date: 10/12/2021 3:15 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
What started on a positive note with plenty of optimism of a satisfying win turned into a frustrating loss for Scotland.

It looked like it could be a victorious day for Scotland today. After a tough 5-0 loss against Thailand two days ago, the team had a more positive outlook when it came to today’s clash against India — even more so after Saina Nehwal’s withdrawal from the 2020 Uber Cup after suffering from an injury — but knowing it would involve a huge effort from their side. Yet, the Scots did not seem to find their rhythm against their opponents.

Don’t take the foot off the gas
After Saina Nehwal’s injury that made her retire on the first game of her match against Spaniard Clara Azurmendi, the Scots were faced with a surprise that could play in their favour, but it was also a source of uncertainty that made them rethink certain aspects.

- It is difficult to prepare because we always knew that there was a chance that Saina would not be playing because she pulled out yesterday, so we had to do a full analysis this morning. It is strange not knowing who you are going to play the next morning, Gilmour explained.

- We do not want to take any chances. We had a meeting this morning, because we can feel that we are not the strongest team, but that does not mean we take the foot off the gas at all. We are going in with big chests, chin up, and let’s see what we can do. 

Gilmour’s best performance in a while
Scotland’s number one Kirsty Gilmour gave her team the confidence boost they needed with a win in their opening match. The 2021 European Championships bronze medallist did indeed take on the clash at full speed as she secured a win in straight games against Malvika Bansod.

- I do not think that this is India’s strongest team. Scotland are confident and I am very happy to kick off this match with a good win for the team. 

-I think it has been a long time since I played good, concise singles. That was a really good match for me, I am really happy with my fitness. I think I played at a fast pace, Gilmour stated.

Rachel Sugden followed Gilmour in representing Scotland at today’s clash. The 19-year-old is no short of talent and after a good performance against Thailand, it looked as if she could get another win for her team. However, the nerves set her back and she lost to Aditi Bhatt 21-14 21-8.

A frustrating missed chance
It was 1-1 on the scoreboard when Julie Macpherson/ Ciara Torrance stepped on court to play against Tanisha Crasto/ Rutaparna Panda. Despite losing on their previous appearance at the event, they delivered a good performance and were looking to do just the same against the Indian duo.

- They were just really strong throughout the whole game. We are pretty devastated today. We had a really good chance to get a good result, but I do not think we got a good rhythm at all. We are massively frustrated because we did play so well two days ago, Torrance mentioned.

The Scottish pair could have got Scotland with one point ahead and this played part on the pressure they felt. 

- It was always going to be though to play against India. Scotland has a great team spirit anyway so I could not see why we could not win the next few matches. I have got full faith on the team, Torrance stated.

Always give your 100 per cent
After Lauren Middleton’s loss against Tasnim Mir, Scotland knew they had already lost the clash against India. Still, Kirsty Gilmour/ Eleanor O’Donnell were ready to give their all and they did. Treesa Jolly/ Gayatri Gopichand Pullela won 21-8 the first game but that did not scare away the Scots who kept up with the Indian duo’s rhythm and went strong into a third game, but they got lost again in the decider.

- Once we thought we had figured them out, they would not do what we had figured they were doing, so that was frustrating. At the end of the second game, we played some of the best women’s doubles we have ever played. I thought it was a good match. It had good bits and frustrating patches, Gilmour said.

Despite knowing that their team had lost the encounter, they gave a great three-game show. Gilmour and O’Donnell demonstrated what it is like to fight until the end for the team. 

- I think it is not in either of us to not go on and give our 100 per cent in a match. I like the look of a 3-2 scoreboard more than a 4-1. You always want to make it as close as possible. It is not a matter of what is in it for us for the future, but rather what is in it for us right at this moment, which is another point on that scoreboard. We still have a match tomorrow.

India vs. Scotland 4-1

WS1: Malvika Bansod - Kirsty Gilmour 13-21 9-21

WS2: Aditi Bhatt - Rachel Sugden

WD1: Tanisha Crasto/ Rutaparna Panda - Julie Macpherson/Ciara Torrance

WS3: Tasnim Mir - Lauren Middleton

WD2: Treesa Jolly/ Gopichand Pullela - Kirsty Gilmour/ Eleanor O'Donnell
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