Kirsty Gilmour reached the quarter-finals of the BLIBLI Indonesian Open today with a fine win over Sayaka Sato.
It was Gilmour’s third win in four meetings against her Japanese opponent but it was also one of the toughest as she recovered from a slow start to win 21-19 17-21 21-14 in just over an hour.
It’s the first time Gilmour has reached the last eight of a World Tour Super 1000 event and she had to work hard to get there, trailing 14-7 then 18-13 in the first game before roaring back to win eight of the next nine points to take the game 21-19.
The Scot wasn’t able to carry that momentum into the second and from 9-9 the Japanese player always looked to be in control.
Despite saving three game points, Gilmour was unable to mount another comeback and Sato took it 21-17, but the third game was a different story.
A close start saw the players tied at 4-4 but from there Gilmour was never behind, building a 9-4 lead which she never looked like losing and taking the win 21-14 on her first match point.
Speaking afterwards, Gilmour confirmed she had struggled with the conditions during the match: “In the second game I kind of lost my feeling a little bit with the drift in the hall and also strayed from my tactics.
“Once I got back to a good place I managed to seal some points but it was too little too late.
“In the third set I stayed disciplined in my tactics and how best to play against the conditions in the hall.
“I was looking to keep the score level and tight at the very least but I forced some errors from her which gave me a nice cushion.”
Gilmour’s reward is a quarter-final place against world no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, who beat Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt 21-15 21-8 earlier today
She is under no illusions about the size of the task in front of her but refuses to be overawed and insists she will treat tomorrow’s encounter in the same way as any other match, saying: “I prepare as I normally would.
“There's no doubt Tai Tzu Ying is the best in the world at the moment but this is sport and anything can happen.
“I'll enter the court with a plan and play without fear.”
Full results and draws at www.tournamentsoftware.com