KIERAN Merrilees progressed to the round of 16 at the Scottish Open Grand Prix with a 21-13 21-13 victory over Ching-Hung Kuo of Chinese Taipei.
Merrilees, seeded 13, said the victory was anything but comfortable: “It definitely wasn’t comfortable. I think the rallies were quite tough. Before the game I thought it was going to be really difficult and I had to make sure I was playing at my best and I did that today.”
Merrilees was confident going into the match and afterwards explained why: “I think the way I play matches up quite well to playing against the Asian style because generally I can move as fast as them compared to some of the other European players”
Looking ahead to the next round Merrilees wasn’t letting himself get carried away: “It’s going to be a really tough game but I’m looking forward to it.
“I often struggle in the Scottish Open as it’s a big, slow arena and I’m quite a fast attacking player so it doesn’t often suit me that well. I need to adapt my game and work especially hard to win points.”
Scotsman Matthew Carder was knocked out of the competition with the exact same scoreline, a 21-13 21-13 defeat to Bjorn Seguin of the USA.
Carder said: “Going into it I knew there was an opportunity to win, I definitely had a chance. I didn’t get a good start to the game and struggled throughout, he deserved to win that.
“The Scottish Open is a tough tournament, even just to get through a round and I managed to win my first round yesterday so it was good to get through. I knew I had a chance today and it was a good draw but I wasn’t able to produce the goods on the day.