Thursday, January 22, 2009

England players warm up in Stockholm for the Nationals

ENGLAND'S Helen Davies and Rachel Howard came through the qualifying rounds to reach the main draw at the Swedish International in Stockholm today.

But Panuga Riou was unlucky to come up against second qualifying seed Carola Bott of Germany and went down 23-21 21-9.

Howard clinched her place in the main draw by beating third seed Barbara Matias of France 26-24 21-15 while seventh seed Davies won a tough three-game battle against Poland's Malgorzata Kurdelska 14-21 21-18 21-13.

Howard's reward is an all-English clash with seventh seed Jill Pittard in the first round on Friday.

In the men's qualifying Ben Beckman defeated Denmark's Kristian Midtgaard in three games in his opening contest 22-20 13-21 21-15 but lost in the second round to Stilian Makarski of Bulgaria 21-15 21-15.

Jamie Bonsels went out in his opening match againsst Denmark's Christian Bruun Hensen of Denmark 18-21 21-15 21-14.

In mixed doubles qualifying Robin Middleton and Mariana Agathangelou earned a place in the main draw with wins over two Danish pairs. They beat Mikkel Elbjorn and Maria Helsbol 21-18 21-18 then put out third seeds Mads Pieler Kolding and Line Damkjaer Kruse 21-15 21-16. That earned them a first-round clash with Poland's Adam Cwalina and Malgorzata Kurdelska.

David Lindley and Suzanne Rayappan, the top seeds, had a first round bye.

In the men's singles seventh seed Rajiv Ouseph starts against Kasper Ipsen while eighth seed Carl Baxter meets another Dane, Christian Lind Thomsen.

Dutchman Eric Pang is the top men's seed.

In the women's singles Elizabeth Cann is fifth seed and starts her bid against China's Xi Zhang. Bulgaria's Petya Nedelcheva is top seed.