November

Scottish Open Grand Prix 2017 - Women's singles preview

Kirsty Gilmour calls the Emirates Arena home but the Scottish Open Grand Prix has so far not brought the golden glory she’s long been looking for.

A two-time runner-up in Glasgow, the 24-year-old will be hoping it’s a case of third time lucky when she takes to the court later this month – having missed out on last year’s tournament through injury.

Seeded top, the pressure is there but Gilmour isn’t one to let that get to her. She thrived off the home crowd at August’s TOTAL BWF World Championships and she’s expected to do the same again.

No Scot has won the women’s singles title since Susan Egelstaff in 2009 but World quarter-finalist Gilmour will be looking to change that record, yet there’s a queue of top-class players waiting in the wings to stop her.

Top of the pile is Danish third seed Mia Blichfeldt, who will be looking to reach the final in Glasgow having lost in the last four in 2016.

This year has seen Blichfeldt win two titles to date, coming at the Spanish and Swedish internationals, while she reached the quarter-finals of the Swiss and Dutch Opens and the last 16 at the World Championships.

But second seed Beatriz Corrales, European Games bronze medallist, will be hot on their heels, looking to become the first Spaniard to win the women’s singles title since reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in 2013.

Like Blichfeldt, Corrales reached the last 16 in Glasgow three months ago, before winning the Belgian International in September.

Fourth seed Linda Zetchiri hasn’t reached a major individual final since 2015, in which she was defeated by Gilmour at the Czech Open.

But the Bulgarian certainly has experience of reaching the latter stages of a competition, winning European bronze in 2012 before finishing second at the 2013 Bitburger Open.

Elsewhere in the draw, Natalia Koch Rohde is no stranger to the Scottish Open, reaching the quarter-finals of the last year and will return in 2017 as the fifth seed.

And it’s been an impressive year for the Dane, reaching the last eight of April’s European Championships before reaching the semi-finals of the Dutch Open in October.

But, as recent tournaments on the circuit have shown, seedings don’t necessarily produce winners and there are plenty of others gunning for the top prize.

Two of those come from south of the border in the form of England’s Fontaine Wright and Chloe Birch, as well as Germany’s Luise Heim.

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