Gilmour edged out by old rival in US Open semi-final

KIRSTY GILMOUR’S bid for a second final appearance in a week ended in disappointment last night when she lost a three-game marathon against old rival Michelle Li at the Yonex US Open in Anaheim.

The unseeded Scotland star went down  16-21 21-16 21-15 in 70 minutes against the Canadian sixth seed, who has now won all four of their meetings, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal match.

Gilmour had not dropped a game on the way to the last four to follow up her good form in reaching last week’s Yonex Canada Open final without dropping a game.

Gilmour had an early lead against Li and then pulled away from 13-13 to take the opener on her first game point.

But Li responded in the second game, striking at 14-14 with a four-point surge and went on to level the match on her second game point.

In the decider Gilmour recovered from 9-6 down to lead 10-9 before Li won five points in a row on her way to victory.

In the other semi-final Japan’s third seed Aya Ohori won the longest match of the women’s singles and the second longest of the tournament when she saved four match points before beating Korean fifth seed Jang Mi Lee 14-21 28-26 21-19 in 87 minutes.

Despite her disappointment last night, Gilmour can be heartened by a good run of form which has seen her climb back into the world’s top 40 following her lay-off in the autumn following knee surgery.

She will now build on this as she prepares for her big target of the summer – the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 in Glasgow from August 21-27 when massive home support can inspire her to more top-level performances in an Emirates Arena where she thrives on the atmosphere.

For the results go to www.tournamentsoftware.com