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Braid tennis ladies head into another Scottish Cup final

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Braid tennis ladies will aim to draw on experiences gained 12 months ago when they, and holders Newlands, again contest the Scottish Cup final on Saturday, 15 June.

The teams will go head-to-head at Whitecraigs, Glasgow, in the 100th instalment of the women’s competition with Braid captain Suzie Provan optimistic they can reverse a 1-5 defeat on their adversaries home courts in 2023.

“This is the second year in a row we have reached the final so hopefully it will benefit us that we know a bit more about what to expect” says Suzie.

One constant is that the Edinburgh club’s supporters are again running a bus to the big occasion but there will be a change in team personnel.

The experienced Sarah McFadyen, a former world No 1 in racketlon – a combination of skills based on tennis, table tennis and badminton – made a timely arrival this season to replace Sophia Okusawa who has moved to Hong Kong.

Sarah also has a world ranking of 27 in Masters +40 tennis singles and has been as high as No 12 globally (two years ago).

Pairings have still to be decided but Braid will be represented by:

Mhairi Beattie, Heather Croll, Emily Gates, Sarah McFadyen, Suzie Provan and Eva Vrhunec.

To reach the final Braid received a bye then overcame local rivals Waverley. 6-0.

The quarter final was a knife edged struggle with Sarah and Suzie winning a final round decider to claim a 5-4 win.

In the semi-final Strathgryffe were seen off 5-1.

Suzie, who switched from playing county tennis with her native Bedfordshire to East of Scotland a couple of years ago and who received a tennis scholarship to the University of Hawaii after leaving the junior ranks, adds:

“It would be remiss not to mention the sterling work done by Alice Drysdale, Amy Allan and Andrea Wilson in earlier rounds.

“Now we go into Saturday’s final believing we can win.”

East representation in the men’s Scottish Cup ended at the semi-final stage when Thistle were beaten by Newlands who will tackle Thorn Park, also from Glasgow, this weekend.

The Braid squad on their home courts. Back row – left to right: Eva, Suzie, Alice and Emily. Front – Heather, Mhairi and Sarah.
Also featuring on the Braid ladies run to the Scottish Cup final were Amy Allan (front left) and Andrea Wilson (back left).

Evergreen sports journalist. Previously published in many publications around the world. Send me your local sports stories. billlothian1008@gmail.com

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