Gilmour wants more than bronze at Europeans

Kirsty Gilmour assured herself another medal when she booked her place in the women’s singles semi-finals at the European Championships in Kolding.

The 2016 silver medallist is assured at least a bronze after an impressive and determined victory tonight over Denmark’s No. 4 seed Line Kjaersfeldt 21-9 21-17.

Gilmour, the seventh seed, produced two performances in one in claiming victory. The Commonwealth silver medallist came out in aggressive style to open a 5-1 lead in the first game and that was the platform for her to dictate the opener completely.

But in the second game the boot was on the other foot as Kjaersfeldt came to life and produced her own 5-1 lead. The nature of the contest had changed and the Dane looked well on the way to levelling the contest as she stretched her lead to 14-8.

Suddenly the confidence was there and twice she celebrated winning long rallies by punching the air.

But Kjaersfeldt hadn’t bargained on Gilmour clawing her way back – but the 23-year-old from Bellshill, who lost to Kjaersfeldt in their last meeting in the final of the 2015 Scottish Open Grand Prix, was in no mood to let the game slip away.

From 14-8 down suddenly there was only one point in it at 14-13. Kjaersfeldt steadied herself to make it 15-13 before Gilmour rattled off five points in a row to lead in the game for the first time and she clinched the 37-minute contest on her first match point as Kjaersfeldt netted two consecutive rallies.

Gilmour said: "We have been playing each other lots of times during the years and it is always difficult to play her because of her endurance.

"In that way we are very similar players. It might have looked easy in the first from the outside and if so I am happy about that, but it wasn’t. Once again I had to struggle hard, but I was prepared for being on court a long time and will be so again in the semi-final.

 "She beat me in the final of the Scottish Open, so isn’t it only fair that I have now beaten her at her home ground?

"I am, of course very satisfied with securing a bronze medal, but my ambition is as always to go all the way."

In tomorrow’ s semi-final she will play Olympic rival and sixth seed Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland.

Gilmour leads Jaquet 4-2 in head to heads, having won all the last four meetings, most recently their match at the Rio Olympics.

The other semi-final will be between Spain’s top seed and hat-trick chasing Carolina Marin, the Olympic and double World champion, and fifth seed Mette Poulsen of Denmark.

What wouldn’t Gilmour give for another final showdown with Marin and a chance to improve on last year’s silver medal.

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