Team Scotland’s squash players got their doubles campaigns off to a sensational start on Saturday with three wins out of three matches in the pool stages of the competition, with two of the wins coming against seeded opposition.
Fifth seeds Alan Clyne and Harry Leitch started the ball rolling in the men’s doubles when they recorded a straightforward 11/2 11/1 win over Malawians James Matewere and Julius Taulo.
Lyall Paterson and Chris Small kept the momentum going when they faced eighth seeded Indian couple Gaurav Nanrajog and Siddharth Suchde in a sensational atmosphere under the glare of the TV cameras on the show court. Paterson and Small won the match 11/8 11/8 in 44 minutes, in the process gaining revenge for defeat by the Indians in the Chennai Open earlier in the year where they lost 11/10 in the deciding game.
But the best was still to come on the show court for the Scots, when Leitch, partnering Lisa Aitken in the mixed doubles, scored his second win of the day. They faced a tough opening tie against the Malaysian third seeds Beng Hee Ong, a player ranked 17 in the world, and Nicol David, who won the gold medal in the women’s singles on Friday. The young Scots showed impressive maturity, standing up to two of the best players in the world and coming away with an 11/9 11/5 win on the show court.
Afterwards, the players were delighted as they looked back on the match. Aitken said:
“Tonight was a pretty big result against some of the best players in the world on such a big stage. We’ve had some good results against some of the English and Aussie pairings before and this ranks up there with the best results we’ve had.
“Going into that game we just had to forget about their reputations and forget about what they have done in the singles events. We went into it pretty positive that we could do what we’ve been rehearsing for the last two years and that’s what we did.”
Leitch agreed: “We played well. We manage to produce what we’ve rehearsed in practice and it’s great to have done that on the show court. We’ve worked really hard to get here and it was great to be able to put our plan into action tonight against two of the best players in the world.
“We went on with real confidence that we had prepared well. We work really well together and we know how to play the game as a team and it paid off for us tonight.
“We have nothing to fear from now on and we’ll just try and keep our momentum going.”
The doubles events will continue on Sunday with all Team Scotland’s players in action throughout the day.