Kennedy & Rooney Stun Top Seeds King & Coll At World Doubles
7 Apr 2022
England's Georgina Kennedy & Patrick Rooney produced a stellar performance to beat top seeds Joelle King & Paul Coll 2/1 on the second day of the WSF World Doubles Championships in Scotstoun, Glasgow.
Kennedy & Rooney took the first game 11-8 only to be pegged back in the second by an 11-9 New Zealand win. If the new English pairing were nervous, they showed few signs of it, as Kennedy attacked well with strong support from Rooney and they were able to claim a famous win with an 11-8 win in the third.
After the match, Rooney said: "I'm buzzing after that, especially after losing to Hong Kong. I think in doubles every match can go either way, I'm very happy. I felt pretty tense at the end because I wasn't sure if we could do it or not. I was getting more and more tense the closer we got! At 10-8 it became a bit of a hack-fest!"
Kennedy added: "I was actually so relaxed and I think that's why we were playing quite well. As Pat said, in doubles it's always all to play for, anyone can beat anyone so that's why I knew we had a chance of beating Paul and Joelle. Even at match ball I felt pretty relaxed and I think that really helped us."
Elsewhere, Scotland continued their impressive early form in their home championships as Scottish teams won five out of their six matches.
In an early afternoon upset, mixed doubles partners Lisa Aitken & Greg Lobban downed Indian No.2 seeds and 2016 silver medallists Dipika Pallikal Karthik & Saurav Ghosal, much to the delight of the home crowd. The pair played an impressive attacking game, fighting hard to push up the court and deservedly took the first game 11-6 before sealing the match with an 11-4 win in the second.
Afterwards, Aitken paid tribute to Lobban, saying: "That was a very good match. Greg shocks me sometimes with how good he is. When he's in that mood he brings out the best in me, so it's a win-win. There was a lot of pressure in that match, they've won several medals and it was a big match in the pool, so it was one we were really looking forward to!"
Lobban and Aitken's win was far from the only strong Scottish performance to draw boisterous applause from the home fans, with Alan Clyne, Douglas Kempsell, Rory Stewart and Georgia Adderley all impressing.
Adderley & Stewart looked in great form in their first ever competitive outing together. They began the day by beating higher-ranked Australian pair Rachael Grinham & Ryan Cuskelly 2/0 and Singapore's Au Yeong Wai Yhann & Aaron Liang by the same scoreline, with that first win drawing some of the loudest cheers of the day from the delighted crowd.
Afterwards, Adderley said: "Hearing people shout 'come on Scotland!' gives you that extra push when you're nervous or struggling a bit, physically or mentally."
Stewart agreed, adding: "It was really good having the crowd, you gain a lot of confidence knowing there's people there to cheer for you. It probably gets an extra 10 percent out of me!"
For Hong Kong's Wong and Lee, their early victory over Rooney and Kennedy Lee became all the more impressive in light of the English duo's win over New Zealand. Wong and Lee, who narrowly lost out to Coll and King yesterday, were good value for the win, with Wong reflecting afterwards: "Yesterday [against Coll and King] was definitely a tough loss to take when you're 1-0 up against the British Open champion. I think we picked ourselves up well to take away the negative emotions from yesterday. Yesterday we had some positives to take and we kept a positive mindset and we're grateful to hold on and get the win today."
With just seven matches in the women's event today, results went largely to seedings, with Malaysia's Ainaa Ampandi and Chan Yiwen the only pair to beat higher-ranked opponents. They beat Hong Kong's Tsz-Wing Tong and Ho Tze Lok 2/1 in the day's final match.
Elsewhere, the group stage of the men's competition came to a close, with two England pairings, Australia, Malaysia, and two Scotland duos topping the six groups.
In some of the day's other matches, Spain collected their first ever win at the World Doubles Championships, Malaysian No.4 seeds Eain Yow Ng and Ivan Yuen survived an 82-minute clash with Wales' Peter Creed and Emyr Evans, and Rachael Grinham & Ryan Cuskelly beat No.3 seeds Zac Alexander and Donna Lobban in an all-Australia affair.