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Kirsty Gilmour ready for Scottish Open title challenge

© Badminton Europe+

Kirsty Gilmour will start her Scottish Open Grand Prix title challenge against American player Rong Schafer after the draw was announced today.

Gilmour, who was runner-up last year in the women's singles, will be aiming to go one better this time round when the five-day tournament gets under way on November 19 at the Emirates Arena, the venue where the 21-year-old won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in August.

Gilmour will be facing Schafer for the first time but the real tests for her will come in the later stages of the women's singles.

In the quarter-finals she can expect to face Russian seventh seed Natalia Perminova and if she progresses to the semi-finals the 21-year-old should get the chance to avenge her World Championships defeat by Germany's fourth seed Karin Schnaase.

Spain's Beatriz Corrales is in the bottom half of the draw and the second seed starts against Jana Ciznarova of Slovakia as she aims to emulate world champion Carolina Martin's victory last year.

Gilmour is also seeded in the women's doubles with Imogen Bankier. The third seeds start with a bye and should be strong enough to reach the last four and an expected clash with top seeds Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria.

Bankier's other top target is the mixed doubles title where she and Robert Blair are the defending champions.

The Commonwealth Games bronze medallists start with a contest against a pair from qualifying and are likely to face their first big test if they come up against France's eighth seeds Gaetan Mittelheiser and Audrey Fontaine in the quarter-finals and German third seeds Peter Käsbauer and Isabel Herttrich in the semi-finals. Another German pair, Max Schwenger and Carla Nelte, are seeded to meet Blair and Bankier in the final.

In the men's doubles there could be two matches of special Scottish interest if the four pairs win their first-round matches.

Blair, the 2007 men's doubles winner, and triple Under 19 Scottish National champion Adam Hall could face fellow Scot Paul Van Rietvelde and England's Chris Coles in the second round if both pairs make a winning start.

Josh Neil and Ben Torrance will meet Alex Dunn and Keith Turnbull if both pairs come through their opening round but Dunn and Turnbull will face a big test in their first round match against French 7th seeds Laurent Constantin and Matthieu Lo Ying Ping.

Scotland's top doubles pair of Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh face a tricky start against England's Matthew Nottingham and Harley Towler - and victory will probably bring them an even tougher task against France's top seeds Baptiste Careme and Ronan Labar.

In the men's singles Kieran Merrilees must overcome England's Toby Penty in the first round, which is being played on the opening Wednesday evening. Estonia's 15th seed Raul Must is likely to face the winner.

Neil and Matthew Carder both start with matches against qualifiers but Torrance has drawn a tough first-round opponent in Taipei's Yu Chen Hsien. If Carder, Neil and Torrance make winning starts they are also all likely to face seeds in the second round in top seed Eric Pang, 11th seed Dmytro Zavadsky and 8th seed Joachim Persson respectively.

Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: "We have high hopes for our Commonwealth Games stars at the Scottish Open. They can expect some tough matches in the later stages so we need the Scotland fans to give them the same support as they did at Glasgow 2014. It really does make a difference."

She added: "We are delighted to be showcasing another top-class badminton event at the Emirates Arena but we couldn't have done it without the strong support of Glasgow City Council, Event Scotland and Yonex."

Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life said: "We are just days away from the return of top class international badminton to Glasgow. The draw will give anyone who is thinking of going to the Emirates Arena for any of the Scottish Open Grand Prix competition days more than enough reason to buy tickets."

The Scottish Open Grand Prix runs from November 19-23. Qualifying rounds and men's singles first round are on the Wednesday, with play throughout the day and evening on the Thursday and Friday. The semi-finals are on the Saturday afternoon with two finals on the Sunday morning (from 10.30am) and three finals on the Sunday afternoon (from 1.30pm).

Click here for the draws of the Scottish Open Grand Prix.

You can follow the entire tournament on our dedicated YouTube channel.

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via Badminton Europe

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