Blair and Bankier cash in on return to Emirates

Robert Blair celebrates. Picture: SNS
Robert Blair celebrates. Picture: SNS
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Edinburgh’s Robert Blair and Glasgow’s Imogen Bankier claimed the mixed doubles for a third time at the Scottish Open Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

Winners way back in 2007, and then again last year, the No.1 seeds staged a successful defence when they defeated Danish pair Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen 21-18, 21-14.

For the Scottish duo, it was the perfect return to the Emirates – last time was when they picked up the Commonwealth Games bronze medal in August.

“We haven’t played much in the last three months, but it was great to be back,” said 33-year-old Blair. “It was a lot different from the Games, but it is always fantastic to play in front of a big crowd and have everybody cheering for you.”

Tonight, Blair, Bankier and Kirsty Gilmour board a flight to Jakarta in Indonesia to play in the lucrative Axiata Cup – they are all members of the European All Stars that join a list of Asian teams.

Best match of the finals was the men’s singles, with Finland’s Ville Lang winning a marathon against Taiwan’s Tzu Wei Wang.

Lang saved four match points at 16-20 in the second game and then continued the fightback and went on to win 17-21, 22-20, 21-16.

Gilmour, top seed in the women’s singles and third seed in the women’s doubles, went out of both events on Saturday. But it turned out that she lost to the eventual winners.

Japan’s Sayako Sato, who had beaten Gilmour in three games, won the women’s singles and the Bulgarian Stoeva sisters, Gabriela and Stefani, followed their semi-final win over Gilmour and Bankier in the women’s doubles with a 21-7 21-15 win over England’s Heather Olver and Lauren Smith.

The men’s doubles produced a Danish victory. Matthias Christiansen and David Daugaard beat Germans Raphael Beck and Andreas Heinz 21-13, 21-17.