January

Kirsty fights her way to a first win in Malaysia

Scottish Open Grand Prix champion Kirsty Gilmour has set up a tough second round tie with Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon after a hard-fought win over Mia Blichfeldt in Malaysia.

The Scot triumphed over Denmark’s Blichfeldt, the same opponent she defeated in the final to win the Scottish Open for the first time in November last year, in a clash that lasted more than an hour in Kuala Lumpur. After all was said and done, Kirsty came out on top 21-17 20-22 21-17.

The Perodua Malaysia Masters come just days after the Premier Badminton League concluded but Gilmour showed no signs of fatigue as she won the first game with four straight points from 17-all.

It was another tight battle in the second game as world number 31 Blichfeldt led 15-10, only for Gilmour to level matter at 17-17.

They exchanged points up until 20-20 but the Dane got the crucial two in a row at that point, forcing a decider.

World number 16 Gilmour had the upper hand throughout the final game, though, establishing an early 7-1 lead that the Dane never recovered from.

The win means Gilmour will take on world number five Intanon in Thursday’s second round, with the winner set to play an unseeded opponent in Friday’s quarter-finals.