Both Mark Caljouw and Nick Fransman took to the court within 20 minutes of each other this afternoon in Glasgow, both against top level Asian opposition. Fransman had an outing against Malaysian Teck Zhi Soo while Caljouw had the unenviable challenge of trying to topple top seed Hsu Jen Hao of Taipei.
It became apparent early on that both Dutch players were in the mood for an upset and when both Fransman and Caljouw took the opening games in their respective matches the double upset looked possible.
Fransman was taken to three games by the Malaysian before coming through 21-8 in the deciding set as the Malaysian stuttered his way around the court. Caljouw on the other hand played the match of his life to beat the top seed in two straight games to completely blow open the top half of the draw and in doing so opened up the door for home favourite Kieran Merrilees.
Both Caljouw (main picture) and Merrilees will now meet in tomorrow’s third round while Fransman has the even tougher challenge of playing the new red hot favourite for the title Anders Antonsen. The Dane himself proved the quality player in the field this week as he gained revenge in beating 2015 world junior champion Chia Hung Lu in two games, a match the rising star of European badminton was extremely happy about.
“If I am honest I expected more from Lu today” said the Dane “I was able to beat him with sharp stick smashes and sharp drops that he just was not able to manage today. That match gives me great confidence now and I am here to win. Win is what I want.”
Sharp looking Panuga continues comeback
After 18 months on the side-lines England’s Panuga Riou (pictured above) looks to have completely recovered from a pair of knee injuries that threatened to end her career. The bubbly English woman has clearly come back with a renewed energy and looks the part this week in Glasgow.
In today’s second round Riou made light work of beating Rachel Honderich of Canada and will be favourite in her next round against Germany’s Fabienne Deprez.
Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt ended the involvement of the home women’s singles taking down Holly Newall in two games while Poulsen, Koch Rohde and Finne-Ipsen all eased their way into round two for Denmark.
There was better news for Scotland’s women’s doubles pairings with both Caitlin Pringle/Rebekka Findlay and Julie Macpherson/Eleanor O Donnell fighting their way through to the delight of the home support.
O Donnell continued her good form in the mixed doubles partnering Adam Hall to a first round victory over Liu and Choo while new English pairing Lauren Smith and Matthew Nottingham look the real deal and will certainly improve with each passing round.
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For all results from today’s play click HERE
Article and images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe