Kirsty Gilmour aims for third time lucky in Scottish final

Kirsty Gilmour in action during her semi-final victory over Soraya De Visch Eijbergen at the Scottish Open Grand Prix. ROSS EAGLESHAM
Kirsty Gilmour in action during her semi-final victory over Soraya De Visch Eijbergen at the Scottish Open Grand Prix. ROSS EAGLESHAM
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It’s the one that she wants. Kirsty Gilmour took another massive step towards claiming her first Scottish Open Grand Prix women’s singles title at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

The Scottish top seed had survived a testing quarter-final on Friday evening, but she came out all guns blazing yesterday afternoon and shrugged off the challenge from Soraya De Visch Eijbergen.

Ranked 92 places higher in the world at No.24, Gilmour, the beaten finalist from 2013 and 2015, romped through the first game against the Dutch player 21-15 and battled well in the second to take it 21-17.

“The Scottish Open title is the one that matters,” said the 24-year-old. “It’s nice to have the pressure of being the top seed and I love playing here at the Emirates. It is a big advantage.”

Eijbergen had shocked two seeds on her way to the last four, and put up a good show against the tournament favourite. The second game was particularly tight, with Gilmour’s form rather patchy. Eljbergen led 11-10 at the interval and was 15-14 in front before the Glasgow-based 24-year-old reacted by winning a string of points on her way to victory.

In the final she will face Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt, who scored a shock win over the No.2 seed Beatriz Corrales. It was surprisingly easy, 21-15, 21-15.

Reflecting on the win, Gilmour, the Commonwealth Games medallist and a quarter-finalist at this summer’s World Championships at the Emirates, admitted that she had yet to reach her peak this week.

“I didn’t play anywhere close to my best today,” she said. “I’ve really had to scrap though a couple of matches this week. But at least I’m through and, hopefully, I am keeping my A game for the final. The plan is to win.

“I’ve never played Mia, and we are really good friends. But the friendship will be put on hold as soon as we step on court tomorrow.”

In the men’s singles, England’s Toby Penty made it through to his first Scottish Open final. The No.13 seed, he beat Denmark’s tenth seed, Rasmus Gemke, 14-21, 21-14, 21-17. In the final, he will face the No.16 seed from France, Lucas Corvee.