KIRSTY Gilmour made a perfect start to her 2015 campaign by retaining her women’s singles title at the Swedish Masters in Uppsala yesterday.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist and second seed swept aside top seed Beatriz Corrales of Spain 21-18, 21-9 to lift the trophy without dropping a game.
Corrales, ranked three places higher at No 23 in the world, had also reached the final without dropping a game and the two players went into the final at 1-1 in head-to-head results.
However, Gilmour snatched a tight opener with a three-point burst after the Spanish player had cut a three-point deficit to draw level at 18-18.
In the second game, though, Gilmour took charge from 3-3 and led 11-5 at the interval before powering on to a 37-minute victory.
The victory keeps her flying high in the world rankings and should guarantee a place in the main draw when the entries for the year’s first MetLife BWF World Superseries event, the Yonex All England Championships, are confirmed on Friday.
It also gives the highest-ranked GB women’s singles player a big boost in an important year, with the 12-month Olympic qualifying race beginning in May.
Gilmour had reached the Swedish final thanks to a 21-16, 21-14 victory over seventh seed Petya Nedelcheva – the Bulgarian who partnered Imogen Bankier to a European bronze medal last season.
She followed that up with a semi-final victory against sixth seed Sasha Vignes Waran of France 21-13, 21-17 despite trailing 9-6 in the opening game and 16-11 in the second.
Meanwhile, in Lubin, Motherwell’s Alex Dunn and Mauchline’s Adam Hall hit doubles top at the Polish Junior International Championships yesterday.
They took the boys’ doubles title without dropping a game after two more big wins in their morning semi-final and afternoon final in two battles of the joint fifth seeds.
In the semi-finals they defeated Poland’s Aleksander Jablonski and Pawel Smilowski 21-16, 21-15 then got the better of Germany’s Bjorne Geiss and Daniel Seifert 21-11, 21-18 in the final despite trailing 15-12 in the second game.
Hall had high hopes of a second title, especially after he and Julie MacPherson defeated second seeds Alexandre Hammer and Anne Tran of France 21-9, 14-21, 21-18.
But in the final the joint fifth seeds lost a close contest 21-15, 21-18 against French third seeds Thomas Vallez and Delphine Delrue.
MacPherson had also reached the semi-finals of the girls’ singles but last season’s European Under-17 bronze medallist from Edinburgh fell to French second seed Maja Pavlinic of Croatia 21-14, 21-12.
Of the weekend’s successes, BADMINTONscotland chief executive Anne Smillie said: “I am delighted for Kirsty. That was just the start to the year that she wanted. Well done, too, to Alex and Adam. Winning this title is a great way to start the year. But congratulations to Julie and Holly Newall [Mauchline], who also enjoyed a good tournament. This four-strong squad performed with real credit and did Scotland proud this week.”