Posted on 18th March 2022
World No.19 Kirsty Gilmour broke her duck at the sport’s oldest tournament with a confident first-round victory over Beiwen Zhang.
Gilmour first appeared at the event in 2013 and has played there eight times without claiming a victory, a duck she broke with a 21-16, 21-13 triumph inside 30 minutes.
“The monkey is off my back and it was a nice moment,” said Gilmour.
The 28-year-old faced fourth seed An Seyoung in the second round, who she took to a deciding rubber at last year’s Denmark Open.
Despite a superb start that saw them break with the Scot 11-4 ahead, the South Korean kept her customary composure to prevail 21-17, 21-16 at Utilita Arena Birmingham.
“I got the initiative, that was the plan,” said Gilmour.
“But she’s an absolute world-class player and her calmness is disarming. Even when you’ve got her struggling, she’s so calm and that’s a really hard factor to deal with.
“I think that’s the best I’ve dealt with it. I took her to three games in Denmark but I’d say I felt more in control in that one. It’s a matter of a few points here and there.”
Reflecting on her form as a whole, Gilmour said: “I’m as strong as I’ve ever been physically, endurance-wise and power-wise, it’s just marrying that up with my badminton skills.
“We’ve got such a good set-up in Scotland – we have everything we need to be world class players.
“We’ve got the brains behind us, the physio support, everything, we’re all looking to start knocking off these little wins here and there.”
There was another Scottish win to savour in the mixed doubles as Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson claimed a memorable first-round victory.
After losing the first game, Hall and MacPherson raised their game and held their nerve in the deciding rubber to progress 14-21, 21-18, 23-21 in 51 minutes.
“It was a real big battling win for us,” said Hall. “We got a win at our first attempt and hopefully we can go even better next time.”
The mixed doubles pair felt the full force of Olympic champions Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping in the second round, outclassed 21-11, 21-11.
Hall said: “They taught us a lesson – the speed, the power, was on a completely different level to anything we’d played before,” said Hall.
“We’re not going to put off by it, they’re just a world-class pair. We’ve played really well in the last two weeks and it shows us what it takes to compete at that level.”
Hall and men’s doubles partner Alexander Dunn threatened for long spells against Indian fifth seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, eventually succumbing to a 21-17, 21-19 defeat.
MacPherson and Ciara Torrance found the going tough and were beaten 21-13, 21-19 by Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kitithakarul and Rawinda Prajonjai, seeded eighth for the Super 1000.
And Grimley brothers Christopher and Matthew played against similarly top-class opponents, going down 21-14 21-19 to Olympic bronze medallists Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik.Go Back