April

Gilmour, Dunn and O’Donnell progress in Australia

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour got her latest women’s singles campaign off to the ideal start after reaching the last 16 on the Gold Coast.

Alex Dunn and Eleanor O’Donnell also enjoyed success, prevailing in the mixed doubles, with the trio all securing straight-game victories at the Carrara Sports Arena.

But it wasn’t to be for Kieran Merrilees as he went down in a tight three-game battle, while Martin Campbell and Julie MacPherson also saw their mixed doubles campaign come to an end Down Under, although they still have men’s and women’s doubles to come tomorrow.

But Gilmour, seeded fourth for the competition, marched on, needing just 17 minutes to overcome Mauritius’ Aurelie Marie Elisa Allet in straight games.

The 21-3 21-4 scoreline was no more than she deserved, wasting little time in getting her campaign up and running – with England’s Chloe Birch next up for the Scot.

"It was just good to get started. By Thursday the Scottish team will have been on the Gold Coast for three weeks, and now we're off and running,” she said.

"There’s no complacency. Funny things can happen at major championships, so I have to be absolutely ready.

"We're not like swimming, we don't get eight chances at a medal!

"I will try to be quite business-like against Chloe. This is where I have to zone in. I'll do my homework and I'll have a plan.

"I'd just turned 17 for my first Games in Delhi. The aim there was to go, play as much as I could and have as much time on court as possible.

"This time, because I've got a silver medal under my belt, from Glasgow, people want the same or better."

The success continued into the mixed doubles as Dunn and O’Donnell received a worthwhile workout before holding out for a 21-19 21-17 win over Buwaneka Goonethilleka and Kavidi Sirimannage from Sri Lanka.

As expected both games were tight affairs, with the Scots opening up a seven-point lead before being pegged back, though they still did enough to move within one game of victory.

And the second followed a similar pattern, making the most of their second match point to take the game within 30 minutes, now set to face eighth seed Malaysians Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying for a place in the quarter-finals.

They won’t be joined by Merrilees however, who was left in philosophic mood after his tight defeat to Loh Kean Yew.

The Scot lost the first game 21-12 but battled back in impressive fashion to level up the contest with a 21-18 second, dominant on his own serve.

But despite leading by four points in the decider the finishing line proved just too far for Merrilees, a 21-18 final game a harsh way for his men’s singles campaign to end.

“He was playing at a high level this week,” said Merrilees of his Singapore opponent. “He only just lost to Raj Ouseph, the European champion, in the team event and he had four match points.

“He’s very good. I think he’ll probably be a top 50 player. I gave my best. It’s tough under the circumstances.”

There was also defeat for Campbell and MacPherson, losing in straight games to English pair Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith, seeded third for the competition.

Five straight points helped Ellis and Smith to a 21-10 first game before the Scots came back into it, narrowly missing out 21-17 to bring their competition to an end.

The individual competition continues into Thursday, with Dunn and O’Donnell in action in the early hours while the former is back on court in the men’s doubles, this time with Adam Hall.

Gilmour has the latest Battle of Britain against Birch while MacPherson and O’Donnell also have English opposition on the other side of the net in Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker.

And Campbell and Patrick MacHugh are in action in the men’s doubles, rounding off the day against fourth seeds Jason Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura of Canada.