This week’s FZ Forza Slovak Open will represent a formidable challenge for Rothesay badminton youngster Sarah Sidebottom.
Sarah and her fellow 18-year-old playing partner Lauren Middleton are the youngest duo in the women’s doubles draw and face a tough test against the more experienced Swedish duo of Maria Persson and Nathalie Wang at 5pm UK time tonight (Thursday).
Sarah told The Buteman: “This is only the third senior tournament together for Lauren and I.
“But this is the biggest one we have played so far.
“There are a lot of players who are older than us that we don’t know.
“And I know that the overall opposition is very strong, with a lot of players from Asia at this tournament.
“There weren’t any Asians in the first two senior competitions that I partnered Lauren in.
“Usually we know who our opponents are, but that isn’t the case here.
“We have no idea, so we’ll see how it goes.
“It is probably good in some ways, as our two Swedish opponents will be thinking: ‘We’re just up against a couple of young Scottish girls’.
“Hopefully they will be lulled into a false sense of security!”
Although Sarah’s coach has targeted her and Lauren at least reaching the quarter-finals this week, she stressed that she had no target personally.
At least Sarah’s recent injury problems with her troublesome right foot have no eased which will stand her in good stead.
Sarah is also entered in the mixed doubles competition in Slovakia. She and partner Jack McGregor have a first round tie today (Thursday) against a Polish pair.