Smashing start to 2018 for Gilmour

Kirsty Gilmour’s Premier Badminton League debut has got off to a near-perfect start after she guided her Bengaluru Blasters side to two wins from their opening two matches in India.

The Scottish Open Grand Prix champion is already making history as the first woman from her country to play in the competition, following in the footsteps of Robert Blair who competed in 2016.

And Gilmour has certainly shown herself adept for the occasion thus far, not only victorious in her last outing, but also claiming the player of the tie gong for her performance.

That came following a straight-games victory over Beiwen Zhang for the world No.16, showing all her grit to overcome a player situated five places higher in the rankings.

The Scot was to do it in some style too, taking the opener in thrilling fashion, 15-14, despite having trailed for large parts of the first game.

Taking that confidence forward, there was little doubt that Gilmour would close out the win, winning the second game 15-8 in a performance to remember in Lucknow.

Gilmour and Zhang had only faced each other once before, in the 2013 iteration of the Scottish Open, where Kirsty won a tight game in three sets on her way to an appearance in the final.

Kirsty's own individual win paved the way for a dominant performance from the Blasters, currently sat in second in the nascent table following that perfect 6-(-1) win over the Mumbai Rockets.

That means they sit just one point behind early leaders Awadhe Warriors, having played a game fewer, leaving Gilmour’s side’s chances of reaching the semi-finals in a very strong position.

The 24-year-old was also in action in the first tie of the competition too, taking part in an enthralling game against Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea.

Her Delhi Dashers opponents had made that game their trump match – meaning double points were on offer for the win – though they were perhaps not banking on the resilience of the Scot.

After going down 15-10 in the first game, Gilmour battled to take the decider and, while the world No.6 held on, that didn’t stop the Scot’s side winning 5-2 in what has been a dream start to their campaign.

Their bid to continue that form will take them to Chennai, where the North Eastern Warriors await as Gilmour looks to gain selection for a third game in succession.