LONDON GPG 2013 SF – Brits through to finals

Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour made the finals at the Adidas London Grand Prix Gold, and was later joined by Chris Langridge and Heather Olver of England for the host nation, although […]

Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour made the finals at the Adidas London Gold, and was later joined by Chris Langridge and Heather Olver of England for the host nation, although their compatriot Ouseph exited at the hands of an impressive Tian Houwei.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from London.  Photos: Raphael Sachetat for Badmintonphoto (live).

Kirsty Gilmour (pictured left) managed to put aside any nerves she had as she beat Kristina Gavnholt of the Czech Republic. The Scot collapsed to the floor in delight as she won 21-13, 20-22, 21-16. After nerves got the better of her as she held match point in the second.

Gilmour’s reach and movement were good enough to draw errors from her counterpart as Gavnholt struggled to get the shuttle past.

Clearly delighted afterwards, Gilmour said, “It was a little bit edgier than how I’ve played recently. I knew I’d beaten her in the past. Kristina’s a really good player, I’m just glad to get through that one. The shots came at the right time. I wouldn’t say that’s my best performance but it was enough to get me through.”

She’ll play Spaniard Marin in the final, “Me and Carolina are the same age.  We’ve played all through junior together although we’ve never actually stepped on court together. That will be a first and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been a long time coming.”

The home fans had needed the pick-up after Rajiv Ouseph (pictured right), was simply outclassed in the previous match. Rajiv had started confidently, taking an early lead but the rising young star from China, Tian Houwei, quickly found his feet.

From 11-all, Tian took runs of five and three points to kill the first game, taking it 21-18, despite a better showing by Ouseph towards the backend. Any of this momentum quickly dissipated in the second game as after the mid game interval the Chinese player walked away with the game, taking the second game 21-14.

Speaking to the press after the match, Ouseph said, “I was a bit disappointed. I started quite well in the first game, I just wasn’t able to sustain it for as long as he could. I just made a few more errors in the middle of both games, so it’s a little bit disappointing.”

Despite the disappointment in front of a home crowd, Ouseph stayed positive as he looked forward to the Denmark Open later this month.

“Next week, we’ve got training, then we’ve got quite a few tournaments in a row. We’ve got Denmark, France and then one in Germany, so we’re very busy for the next few weeks. It’s good that I won a few matches here so I can take those performances into the next tournament.”

Finally, for those that waited, the home fans were treated to a masterclass that saw Chris Langridge / Heather Olver (pictured left) control their game against Chrisnanta/Neo perfectly with a defence on top form and a quick attack. A good crowd stayed to cheer them on, as they won 21-15, 21-15 to keep English hopes alive.

It was a double disappointment for Vanessa Neo, the Singaporean having already lost her women’s doubles match to the Danish first seeds in the earlier session of the day.

Langridge said after the match, “We were really pleased, we knew before the game it was going to be tough. At the beginning of the year they were top ten in the world but we played well. We spoke to our coaches and they gave us a really good plan. To be honest the plan they gave us was down to a tee.

“They seemed to run out of ideas and gave us points that maybe we weren’t expecting. We’re playing as well now as we were a couple of months ago when we were beating some top pairs.”

“It’s great walking out in front of a home crowd.  Everyone wants you to win, wanting you to play well.  It helps a lot,” added Olver.

The full results for the day can be found here


About Michael Burke