Badminton: Kieran Merrilees suffers first-round defeat

Kieran Merrilees
Kieran Merrilees represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
Scottish Open Grand Prix
Venue: Emirates Arena, Glasgow Dates: 19-23 November
Coverage: BBC Sport website

Scotland's number one men's singles badminton player Kieran Merrilees suffered an early exit at the Scottish Open Grand Prix at Glasgow's Emirates.

He lost 17-21 21-15 21-10 in his first-round match on Wednesday against England's Toby Plenty, his training partner in the Great Britain squad.

However, fellow Scots Ben Torrance, Josh Neil and Matthew Carder did progress to Thursday's second round.

And Holly Newall knocked out Anne Tran of France in the women's singles.

The 16-year-old pupil at Glasgow's Bellahouston Academy, who started the day on the reserve list before being promoted to qualifying, defeated Tran 21-14 18-21 21-16 after a 41-minute contest to earn a first-round match on Thursday with the experienced Swiss player Sabrina Jaquet.

It was Newall's second win of the day, having come through a close contest with England's Jessica Hopton 21-18 21-19.

"This is definitely the best ever performance of my career," she said.

"I felt I played well in my first match but I knew I was the underdog going into the match with Tran as she is ranked much higher."

Merrilees blamed himself for his defeat by Plenty, saying: "I let some bad line calls influence me. I seem to have had one or two in every match recently.

Holly Newall
Holly Newall played two matches before winning against France's Anne Tran

"It's frustrating when something like this influences a match but I knew when it went to three I was going to struggle.

"Usually I would expect to win a match like this but I need to do some hard training and get match fit."

Prestwick's Torrance beat Yu Chun Hsien of Taipei 21-15 21-13 in the first round, an opponent ranked 400 places higher than him.

His reward is a match against former world top 10 player Joachim Persson of Denmark.

That win paved the way for two more Scotland successes as Neil and Carder joined him in the second round with wins over English opponents.

Neil, also of Prestwick, knocked out George Isherwood 21-6 21-14, while Carder defeated Thomas Stanford 21-11 21-9.

Carder now faces England's Rhys Walker, who went through after Dutch top seed Eric Pang had to retire in the second game of their contest with a leg injury.

Neil faces Ukraine 11th seed Dmytro Zavadsky.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour starts her singles challenge on Thursday when the top seed faces American Rong Schafer in the first round.