By Chris Macmillan.
THE 2017 Scottish Open Grand Prix in badminton continues today at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, and Scottish singles hopes rest on the shoulders of two-time runner-up and number one seed Kirsty Gilmour.
The Scottish Open Grand Prix is the third oldest Championships in world badminton and has been held at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow since 2012, and has gained a reputation as one of the most internationally renowned tournaments in the badminton world.
Following defeat in the first round for 11th seed Kieran Merrilees in the men’s singles competition on Wednesday night, Gilmour started her campaign by defeating unseeded Frenchwomen Delphine Lansac 21-16, 21-9 yesterday afternoon.
After reaching the quarter-finals of the Badminton World Federation World Championships in the same arena before losing to Indian Saina Nehwal, Gilmour is considered one of the favourites to walk away from the Emirates with the Grand Prix crown.
The number one seed overcame England’s Chloe Birch 21-15, 21-13 this afternoon and moves on to play Danish fifth seed Natalia Koch Rohde in the quarter-finals later on today.
Gilmour said: “I was really quite happy to get that one under my belt today. I had a good start yesterday, although it was kind of even in the first set and then I took a five point jump to seal off the first set and then it was quite comfortable after that.
“I was really happy with the plan that I had for today, and I utilised what I’d learned about the arena and the court yesterday and I was pretty happy about this morning and now I’ve just got to regroup. It’s not often I have to play two games in one day so I’ll have to look ahead to that now.”
On facing her friend Rohde for a place in the semi finals, the Scotswoman continued:
“Anytime you see that little Danish flag, you know you’re up against it. I know Natalia quite well, we are quite good friends. I’ve not played her for a few years and I think she has made a lot of improvements in that time, so I think it’s going to be really interesting tonight, but of course I’m going to do my homework and I’m going to be ready for whatever that big, tall woman throws at me!”
Gilmour will be hoping to go one further this year after twice being a runner-up in the Grand Prix in her favourite Arena.
“I’ve come so close so many times. Two Scottish Open Finals and a Commonwealth Games Final. The way I’m feeling it is very possible, but I am just literally taking it a game at a time, I’ve not looked any further that the match that is tonight. I am very much living in the moment just now.”