Scottish Open: Kirsty Gilmour determined to win title in Glasgow

By Keir MurrayBBC Scotland
Kirsty Gilmour
Kirsty Gilmour is on course to be Great Britain's Olympic representative in the women's singles
Scottish Open Grand Prix
Venue: Emirates Arena, Glasgow Dates: 18-22 November
Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website

Kirsty Gilmour is looking to go one better at Glasgow's Emirates Arena when she leads the domestic title challenge at the Scottish Open Grand Prix.

Ranked 20 in the world in the women's singles, she won a Commonwealth silver medal at the venue last summer.

"My record at the Emirates Arena feels like I'm always the runner-up, always so close yet so far," said Gilmour, 22.

"Two years ago it was a silver medal for me at the Scottish Open and last year it was the semi-final."

Gilmour is the top women's singles seed for the tournament, which runs from Wednesday until Sunday.

She added: "This year I'm really looking to put in good performances and if I do play some of my best badminton I will have a really good shout."

One of 278 players from 37 nations taking part, Gilmour has yet to discover who she will play in the first round, but she does know her opponent will be a qualifier from the opening day's contests.

She describes being top seed as a "nice pressure" and is looking forward to having the home crowd give her noisy backing.

With recent title wins at the Prague and Dutch Opens, a runner-up spot at the Yonex Belgian International and a last-four slot at the Bitburger Open, Gilmour is on course to be Britain's representative in the women's singles at the Rio Olympics.

Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh
Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh are ranked 56th in the world and are working hard to push into the top 50

"Anything can happen," she told BBC Scotland. "But if I stay where I am and with the performances I'm giving just now I've got a pretty good shot at being selected."

Her immediate focus is success in Glasgow, where the World Badminton Championships will take place two years from now.

"The Emirates Arena and the Scottish Open is so deserving of the Grand Prix status," said the newly-qualified creative industries graduate.

"It used to be a Challenge tournament. We are very fortunate to have the Grand Prix status. In terms of points, that really does help. The Scottish Open really is the one everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to have that home tournament under their belt.

"The Scottish Open is regarded as one of the best organised tournaments in Europe, if not the world. It will stand us in very good stead for the World Championships in 2017."

Leading the domestic challenge in the men's doubles are Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh, who have been a pairing since mid-2012.

Campbell, 25, and 23-year-old MacHugh, from Kinross, won the Hungarian International two weeks ago and, although their confidence is high, they know it will be difficult to get past England's Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge in the first round.

"That was our third final in international tournaments," said Edinburgh's Campbell of the win in Budaors.

"We won in Iceland in January and made the final in Portugal in March. It was a good one to win, there were a lot of tough opponents.

"But the draw has not been kind to us here. We have certainly got a tough task."

MacHugh added: "It's more pressure on them coming in as second seeds. It's a good challenge for us."