Chloe shows England the way at London Grand Prix
Date: 10/1/2013 10:18 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
Chloe Birch was the big England winner on day one of the London Grand Prix. The Sheffield player repeated her success in the qualifying rounds at the Yonex Czech International last week by earning a place in tomorrow’s main draw at the Copper Box Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Park.

Birch defeated Slovakia’s Jana Ciznarova 21-9 21-4 to earn an all-Yorkshire first-round match against Sarah Milne. After her winning display at the Olympic venue Birch, 18, said: “It’s really good. I usually play in small venues so it’s really good to come to a big venue like this, especially when the Olympic Games were here. It’s a really good opportunity. I’ve got another English girl in the first round whose also from Yorkshire so it will be tough but I am just going to give her everything.”

“I’m still actually a junior but I am playing on the senior circuit this year so it is really to get myself established and get through a couple of rounds so I can face the top players and just learn. I want to get some experience so next year, when I am a full senior, I can challenge the top players.”

Check out the women's singles draw

She is also playing women’s doubles with Lauren Smith for the first time. “We were training last night and it seems to be going quite well so hopefully it will go to plan,” said Birch.

Tomorrow they face Indonesia’s Anggia Shitta Awanda and  Della Destiara Haris.

Check out the women's doubles draw

England began the day with four players bidding for a place in the main draw but Surrey’s Georgina Bland fell to China’s Olympic semi-finalist and World Championship bronze medallist Wang Xin 21-6 21-13. Wang is returning to action after a long lay-off with a cruciate injury.

Hampshire’s Victoria Williams also fell in the qualifying, beaten 21-7 21-11 by Sayaka Sato of Japan while Dorset’s Lynnlette Aung went down 21-5 21-12 to Beiwen Zhang of the USA.

Scotland collected their first win of the London Grand Prix when Kieran Merrilees moved into the second round with a 21-16 21-16 win over England’s Ben Muir. That earned the Glasgow man a second-round clash with Finnish seventh seed Ville Lang, a former Scottish Open champion.

Check out the men's single draw

In the today's first round men's singles action European Vice Champion Henri Hurskainen (Sweden) beats Jan Fröhlich from Czech Republic in two close games. Denmark's Joachim Persson is through to the next round as he overcame local player Sam Dobson in two straight games.

Follow all results from the 2013 London Grand Prix by clicking here.

Article by William Kings. Photo (Live) by BadmintonPhoto.
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