General

Piek & Muskens on crest of a wave
Date: 11/18/2013 11:16 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
The Scottish Open returns to the fabulous Emirates Arena in Glasgow this coming week as Badminton Scotland’s flagship event makes the step up from International Challenege to Grand Prix ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

The large home support is sure to have plenty to cheer about with the likes on Bankier, Blair & Gilmour amongst the favourites for their respective events but it’s the resurgent Dutch who might have a lot to say come the medal ceremonies on Sunday evening with Selena Piek & Eefje Muskens riding the crest of a wave after their recent victory at the Bitburger Open.

“The win at Bitburger was a huge confidence boost for us which shows we are on the right track and able to compete with the very best in Europe”

The Dynamic Dutch duo will certainly be looked on as one of the pairs to beat this week as they continue to go from strength to strength after a torrid time dealing with the loss of funding and support back home in The Netherlands.

Muskens & Piek find themselves in the harder side of the draw with pairs such as Bankier/Nedelcheva, Olver/Robertshaw and Olympic bronze medallist Nina Vislova alongside new partner Anastasia Chervaykova all looking to rain on the Dutch parade. But pressure is something Piek and Muskens take in their stride and Piek in particular sometimes needs the lightening jolt of pressure to bring out the best in her game.

“I think pressure comes along with playing well, but it also gives us a big boost to perform even better. We both know what we are capable of and as long as you believe in your own strength you will be able to put the pressure aside. Honestly I like to have a bit of pressure on me as I tend to be a slow starter. With the pressure on my shoulders I often feel like I'm even more focused from the start.” Said Piek exclusively to Badminton Europe

In an effort to leave no stone unturned in the build up to the tournament the Dutch have embarked on a week’s training in Scotland alongside the likes of Bankier & Gilmour which is sure to benefit both nations in the build up to the start on the tournament on Wednesday.

“Preparation is always key and with this in mind we have gone to Scotland early to train with the Scottish squad. For me I like to focus on match specific things on the lead up to a tournament like service situations as drills to keep my speed up.” Said Piek as she boarded her flight to Glasgow.

Magical Marin looking to go back to back on British soil

The last time we saw Carolina Marin’s beaming smile was almost two months ago as she lifted the London Grand prix title with a victory over Scotland’s own Kirsty Gilmour. The Spanish world number 18 was forced into a 6 week exile thereafter and comes back from injury this week once again on British soil.

Marin will be overwhelming favourite to lift the Scottish title but Kirsty Gilmour and about 3000 Scottish souls will be her biggest opposition in Glasgow but the bubbly Spaniard is ready to launch her assault on back to back titles on British soil.

“I am looking forward to Scotland after being out for 6 weeks with injury. It was disappointing to get injured but I think I have coped with it well and I am even more motivated and excited about competing again after the break” said Marin ahead of her trip to Glasgow.

In a fiercely competitive women singles draw Sashina Vignes Waran will be looking to ignite her season after faltering since her recent French nationalisation. With Corrales, Gilmour, Vignes and Linda Zetchiri all in the bottom half of the draw there will be no room for complacency come the first round proper on Thursday.

Badminton Europe will be in Glasgow with live streaming on our Youtube channel from Thursday morning with full commentary for all days play. Click here to subscribe to watch for free.

To view the draws of the Scottish Open Grand Prix click here.

Article by Mark Phelan. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.

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