Since ruthlessness is a key requirement in top flight sporting competition Holly Newall’s performance in her opening match at badminton’s Scottish Open Grand Prix offered evidence of having what it takes to make further progress.

Only a few days earlier she and fellow Scottish teenager Toni Woods had battled hard together at the Czech Junior Championships, just missing out on a medal when they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage.

However when Woods was given a late chance to compete in the singles at The Emirates this week it was the 18-year-old from Mauchline who stood in her way and buoyed by her victory in the singles at that Czech event, which took her to sixth spot in the European under-19 rankings, Newall duly despatched her doubles partner 21-14, 21-15.

“I wasn’t supposed to play Toni in the first round. I was supposed to play an English girl but obviously she pulled out and Toni got put out. It’s a bit unfortunate and a bit frustrating, but it happens doesn’t it?” Newall observed afterwards.

Another straight sets win over Paige Butler, one of a huge contingent of English entrants this week, took her into the main draw where she joins 17-year-old compatriot Ciara Torrance, who was given a wildcard, but as the higher ranked of the two Newall knows she has big shoes to fill in the injury enforced absence of Kirsty Gilmour, who has beaten her in the final of the singles at the National Championships in each of the last two years.

“It’s a big ask isn’t it when you’ve got Kirsty who’s number one in Britain, number 15 in the world, but I’m trying to aspire to follow her and do well for Scotland in this competition,” she said.

“Obviously she’s a supreme athlete. She’s trained so hard all of her life and when she went to the Olympics it brought the whole squad together with her doing so well and making Scotland proud.

“I don’t train with her much at the moment, but hopefully with our new Malaysian coach coming along next year I might have the chance to hit with her because for me personally she’s a role for Scotland and probably everyone else in this country.”

Newall has been working with Gilmour’s fellow 2014 Commonwealth Games medallist Bob Blair, who has now moved into a coaching role with Badminton Scotland and was in her corner yesterday, while she is excited by the prospect of the arrival of Badminton Scotland’s newly appointed Malaysian head coach Tat Meng Wong who has a particularly good record of producing top class women’s singles specialists.

“I’ve been having to work harder. I’ve been training with Bob and he’s pushing me quite a lot, but I really like his coaching and I can imagine the new coach will be quite physical too,” she said.

Other than 26-year-old Kieran Merrilees, who is currently occupying his highest ever spot in the world rankings and has been seeded 13th in the men’s singles, the domestic contingent in this tournament are very much players who are seeking to impress.

Among them the Grimley twins, Christopher and Matthew, had been hoping to repeat last year’s heroics when, as 15-year-olds, they achieved something unheard of a year ago here when they reached the last 16 of a Grand Prix event.

This time around, however, after making relatively light work of England’s Callum Hemming and Johnnie Torjussen, 21-16, 21-6, they were beaten in the final round of qualifying by the relatively experienced Chinese pairing of Li Jinqui and Liu Zerun.

Christopher made it through to the main draw in the men’s singles with straightforward wins over English pair Kit Clement-Dawson 21-9, 21-14 and David King 21-16, 21-13 where he put up a gutsy fight before being beaten 21-15, 27-25 by Dutch 16th seed Nick Fransman but Matthew missed out on a chance to meet Merrilees in the singles when, after beating one Englishman, Joshua Young, in three sets 15-21, 21-15, 21-14, he was then beaten by another, Yuehang Wang, in a similarly tough battle, 21-19, 16-21, 21-13.

The Scottish number one extracted full revenge for his young countryman with a comprehensive 21-10, 21-11 victory and he was joined in the second round by Matthew Carder, following his 21-16, 21-15 defeat of Austrian Rudiger Gnedt.