There were a few scares along the way, but Kirsty Gilmour finally got the job done and claimed the Scottish Open Grand Prix women’s singles title in front of her home fans yesterday at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
Facing the talented 20-year-old Dane, Mia Blichfeldt, the No 1 seed had to produce her best form of the championships to win 23-21, 21-12 in a highly entertaining 50-minute final. The victory jig said it all.
Twice a runner-up in this event and a silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games at the Emirates, Gilmour was ecstatic to finally be the bride in her favourite arena.
“Just to get it done feels so good, and a huge relief,” said the Glasgow-based 24-year-old. “It was the first time that I had played Mia and she took a bit of figuring out. It was a bit sticky at times, but all credit to her.”
The first game was tight. Gilmour trailed 14-16 and then let slip three game points – two were lost on dubious line calls – before getting her nose in front. First game in the bag, the crowd presumed she was then on easy street. But Blichfeldt produced a great start to the second game, winning the first four points without reply.
However, with Scotland coach Tat Meng Wong guiding his charge from the sidelines, Gilmour, the world No 21, started to dominate. She drew level at 5-5 and, slowly but surely, started to take control.
“It was a bit of a scare at the end of the first game, but I started to find some solid play in the second,” said the first home winner since Susan Egelstaff took gold at the Kelvin Hall in 2009.
“It means a huge deal to me and I really felt the wave of expectation. But I am now so happy. I know it means so much to everyone.”
Gilmour, who reached the quarter-finals at the Total BWF World Championships at the Emirates in August, has enjoyed a great 2017. Last year she made her Olympic debut – but was then hampered by a knee injury that required surgery. It’s been a great comeback, and yesterday’s win was the icing on the cake. Now she is looking ahead to the Commonwealth Games next year – and then it will be a big push towards the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
England’s Toby Penty scored a superb win in the men’s singles, beating France’s Lucas Corvee 21-14, 24-22 in a thrilling final.
Dutch players won all three doubles titles.
Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen took the women’s trophy, Jelie Maas and Robin Tabeling claimed the men’s title and Piek made it a double with Jacco Arends in the mixed.