GEORGE TOWN: Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland hopes to bloom into another European badminton star, just like Carolina Marin of Spain.
On Saturday, the 22-year-old Gilmour showed that she has the determination and talent with a sensational 12-21, 21-18, 21-8 win over seventh seeds Yui Hashimoto of Japan in a 62-minute semi-final match in the Malaysian Masters at the SPICE Arena in Relau.
She will take on P.V. Sindhu of India, who also went the distance to stun top seed Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea 21-19, 12-21, 21-10, for the title.
Gilmour, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist, wants to emulate Marin. The Spanish reigning world champion had made life difficult for top Asian players from China, Japan, Thailand and South Korea over the last two years.
"Last year, Carolina did well to beat so many good Asian players. Hopefully, I will be able to do the same this year," said Gilmour.
"There are just so many good Asian players. Players like me have to throw all we have to match them.
"Today, my Japanese opponent made me work so hard. She was just everywhere on the court and there are just so many good ones like her.
"But I believe I have come prepared this year. I am physically strong, I can last the pace but I am trying to mix it and add sharpness to my game to have that extra edge."
Gilmour has beaten Sindhu before, in the second round of the French Open in 2013.
"Hopefully, I can win again. I am looking forward to a good start to the year," said the Scot.