Bute badminton star Sarah Sidebottom storms past semis in her senior debut

Sarah Sidebottom (right) and her partner Lauren Middleton reached the final in Dunfermline
Sarah Sidebottom (right) and her partner Lauren Middleton reached the final in Dunfermline

On her debut as a senior, Rothesay badminton star Sarah Sidebottom reached the women’s doubles final at last weekend’s Babolat Dunfermline Championships.

Sarah and partner Lauren Middleton, the second seeds, received a first round bye before winning two rounds and reaching the final were they were beaten by top seeds Julie MacPherson and Holly Newall.

Sarah (18) told The Buteman: “It was a respectable first effort as seniors for us.

“The girls who beat us have been seniors for two or three years and they are full-time senior players.

“We wanted to show our coaches that we could compete well with them and get to their level in the future.”

Sarah and Lauren attempted to do that in Sunday’s final, as they fought hard against the favourites before eventually losing 9-21, 11-21.

In the earlier rounds on Saturday, Sarah and her partner had seen off Lynne Dargie and Shona Mackay 21-10, 21-14 and Alice Campbell and Rachel Sugden 11-21, 21-14, 21-11.

Sarah and Lauren’s entry into the senior ranks will continue over the next two weekends as they contest the Ireland International followed by the Scottish Nationals in Perth.

“These two tournaments will be another step up for us,” Sarah said.

“It will only be internationals taking part in Ireland so that will definitely be a higher level.

“And the Scottish nationals will be on a par with Dunfermline but more difficult as one top partnership who weren’t at Dunfermline will be in Perth.”

Sarah is embarking upon a new fitness and diet routine in 2019 as she tries to give herself as good a chance as possible of competing against the top women players.

“I’m lifting more weights and increasing it slightly every couple of weeks,” Sarah added.

“I have changed my diet so that I have a lot more protein intake.

“Hopefully that will help as well.”

Meanwhile, Sarah gave her reaction to tennis superstar Andy Murray’s imminent retirement which he has announced will happen this year.

“I was sad to hear that,” she said. “It’s definitely a bit upsetting.

“I once met him at a Davis Cup tie at the Braehead Arena and he signed a tennis ball for me.

“It was awesome to see him play live and witness the whole crowd supporting him.

“He is an inspiration.”