Kirsty back to winning ways after All England loss

Kirsty Gilmour in action at the Yonex All England Open (pic by Badminton Europe).
Kirsty Gilmour in action at the Yonex All England Open (pic by Badminton Europe).
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Bothwell’s Kirsty Gilmour bounced back in Switzerland on Wednesday after seeing her hopes of a good run at last week’s Yonex All England Open Championships dashed at the first hurdle.

The 21-year-old world number 27 defeated a Japanese qualifier in her opening match of the Swiss Open in Basle.

Gilmour went out in the first round of the women’s singles in Birmingham - but there was no disgrace in defeat to seventh seed and 2014 BWF World Superseries grand finals winner Tai Tzu Ying.

Commonwealth silver medallist Kirsty went down 21-16 21-14 after a 34-minute contest and was in good company as Glasgow 2014 gold medallist Michelle Li also fell in the first round.

Had both players won, they would have met in the second round in a rematch of last year’s Commonwealth final.

Kirsty admitted: “I was thinking about that, but then we both lost.”

The match was two hours 45 minutes behind schedule by the time the players got on court, but Gilmour said: “It’s the same for both of us but it makes for a long day and it’s hard to plan, you can’t time your meals.”

Gilmour made the early running and led 6-2 but the 20-year-old Tapei player was level at 6-6 before making a big six-point surge from 11-10 on the way to taking the first game.

Gilmour also led 5-3 in the second but once level Tai eased away to win on her second match point.

Gilmour, who had lost in three games against the Taipei player in the 2013 World Championships, said: “She played better than the last time we met.

“I don’t think I played badly. I felt OK with my game but I was not at my best.”

She admitted she has had a hectic schedule in recent weeks with Sweden, the Yonex Scottish Nationals, the European Team Championships and then the Yonex German Open in the lead-up to the All England and admitted it was “exhausting”.

This week it’s the Swiss Open in Basle, but Kirsty insists she is well placed as the May start of the year-long Olympic qualifying race draws nearer.

She said: “I’m just about where I want to be. As long as I am getting into main draws at tournaments that will be OK.”

And she got off to a good start in Switzerland, defeating Japanese qualifier Aya Ohori 21-16 21-14 in the first round on Wednesday.

In a fluctuating first game she led 13-10 but trailed 15-14 before a six-point burst took her to game point and she went on to take it on her second game point.

In the second game she took control from 4-4 and pulled away to win in 44 minutes.

In Thursday’s second round she will face Porntip Buranaprasertsuk after the Thai player defeated Japan’s Yui Hashimoto 21-12 21-11.

Meanwhile Motherwell teenager Alex Dunn’s bid for men’s doubles glory in Portugal last week ended at the semi-final stage.

The 17-year-old Dalziel High pupil and partner Adam Hall, from Mauchline, reached the last four of the 50th Portuguese International at Caldas da Rainha, with three straight game wins, including a victory over highly rated fourth seeds Pavel Florian and Ondrej Kopriva from the Czech Republic.

But their run - and their hopes of an all-Scottish final against Martin Campbell (Edinburgh) and Patrick MacHugh (Glasgow) - came to an end when they were beaten by England’s Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden, the eventual winners.

Dunn and Hall, winners of the Polish Junior International earlier this year, opened with a 21-11 21-13 win over Alexander Bass (Israel) and Gergin Nedyalkov (Bulgaria).

A 21-17 21-13 win over Florian and Kopriva followed and David Kim Kristensen (Denmark) and Ernesto Velazquez (Spain) were then beaten 21-14 21-17 to put Dunn and Hall through to the semis.

Dunn also played in the singles but was forced to retire with his opening match against English number 15 seed Darren Adamson poised at one game apiece, Dunn winning the first 21-19 but losing the second 21-16.

The Motherwell player will return to Lubin, scene of his Polish success in January, later this month as part of an eight-strong Scottish squad taking part in the European Junior Under 19 Championships.

Alex will play in both team and individual events at the competition which takes place from March 26 to April 4.

In the team event, from March 26-30, Scotland have been drawn in the same group as joint third seeds France, Slovenia and Bulgaria.

The team championships will be followed by the individual events from March 30-April 4 with Alex selected for both the men’s singles and the doubles with Adam Hall.

Dunn also played in the singles but was forced to retire with his opening match against English number 15 seed Darren Adamson poised at one game apiece, Dunn winning the first 21-19 but losing the second 21-16.