Kirsty Gilmour into Scottish Open semis but not without scare

Kirsty Gilmour flings her racket into the air as she celebrates her win over Natalia Koch Rohde. Picture: Lorraine Hill
Kirsty Gilmour flings her racket into the air as she celebrates her win over Natalia Koch Rohde. Picture: Lorraine Hill
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Kirsty Gilmour survived a scare to reach today’s semi-finals of the Scottish Open Grand Prix women’s singles.

The Scottish top seed beat England’s Chloe Birch 21-15, 21-13 at lunchtime but then had to come from six points behind in the decider against Denmark’s Natalia Koch Rohde in the evening quarter-finals at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

Commonwealth silver medallist Gilmour started slowly against Rohde, losing the first five points. But she still managed to win the first game and the firm favourite seemed to have settled. But the younger underdog, seeded fifth, took the second game and unsettled the crowd when she soared into a 12-6 lead in the third.

Gilmour got it back to 14-14 but lost the next two points and then stood 18-19 behind. But she produced three masterful shots to take the match 21-12, 16-21, 21-19.

She will face a lower-ranked player, Soraya De Wisch Ejbergen of the Netherlands in the semis after Ejbergen ousted the No 4 seed, Linda Zetchiri.

Gilmour said: “I knew it was going to be a tough battle. I had a few little blips, but it is great to get through.

“I haven’t played two competitive matches in a day since April so it was a bit of a change, but it’s a nice challenge.”

Gilmour has twice finished runner-up in the Scottish Open and goes into the weekend as the only surviving home player. But, with the next Commonwealth Games less than six months away, there were signs of promise from the younger Scots.

Adam Hall and Ciara Torrance came close to an upset in their 21-16, 18-21, 21-18 mixed doubles defeat to seventh seeds Robin Tabeling and Cheryl Seinen. The Scots had beaten compatriots Martin Campbell and Julie Macpherson in the first round and brought the deciding game back to 19-18 before conceding the final two points.

Glasgow siblings, Ciar and Caitlin Pringle, also failed to make the quarter-finals when they lost 21-15, 21-8 to No 6 seeds Jacco Arends and Selena Piek. The Scots comfortably beat English duo Alex Cook and Zoe King on Thursday but the experienced Dutch pairing were simply too good in the second-round.

In the women’s doubles, Scotland’s Julie Macpherson and Eleanor O’Donnell were also up against strong opposition and duly lost out to third seeds Chloe Birch and Jess Pugh 21-17, 21-11.

There was a huge shock in the men’s doubles as top-seeded Englishmen Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge crashed out. The Olympic bronze medallists went down 21-19, 17-21, 21-19 to French duo Bastian Kersaudy and Julien Maio.

In Prague, Scotland belied their seeding to pick up a bronze medal at the European Under 17 Team Championship with a sparkling win over France.

There was little time to celebrate, though, as the individual events get under way today.