European Games: Gilmour Survives Hungarian Test

European Games: Gilmour Survives Hungarian Test

Women’s singles second seed Kirsty Gilmour came through a tougher-than-expected 61-minute battle against world No.76 Vivien Sandorhazi in the European Games 2023 Round of 16 yesterday.

The Minsk 2019 silver medallist started the favourite but surprisingly dropped the first game 21-17 to her combative Hungarian opponent. Gilmour then won the close second game 21-17 to force a decider, in which her experience proved decisive against the 22-year-old Sandorhazi. Gilmour took the rubber by the same scoreline.

“Really good match from Vivien,” Gilmour later told Badminton Europe. “I’m never scared when I lose the first game. I’ve been doing this long enough to know I can come through these tests. At the start of the second game, I thought I’m either going to give up or dig in and change something. I chose the latter.

“I touched my top level for some of it but not consistently enough. But if you can get through a lungbuster like this, you are in a really good place for the next round.”

Gilmour faces Line Højmark Kjaersfeldt in the quarterfinals. The Dane, the only player to medal at the last two European Games, booked her place in the final eight with a convincing straight games win (21-11 21-14) over German fourth seed Yvonne Li.

Gilmour, however, leads the head-to-head 7-3. Their last meeting, ironically, was at the previous European Games – a three-game semifinal duel Gilmour won.

Meanwhile, Isabel Lohau and Linda Efler ousted second seeds Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen from the quarterfinals to assure themselves and Germany a first ever medal in women’s doubles.

The unseeded pair, who came from behind to win 16-21 23-21 21-16, take on Debora Jille/Cheryl Seinen today for a place in the gold medal match.