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Gilmour shines in Spain with victory at last over Marin

Kirsty Gilmour could stand accused of abusing her hosts' hospitality, but the Scot was unrepentant as she returned from Spain with another significant title to her name yesterday.

GILMOUR: 'Record looks a lot better'
GILMOUR: 'Record looks a lot better'

To achieve it, the Glasgow-based Scottish No.1 had to record a career first win over Europe's leading player, Carolina Marin, in front of her own supporters in the final of the Spanish Open. That after Gilmour had spent the week training with Marin and another of her main European rivals, Beatriz Corrales, at the Spaniards' invitation.

"It was good to see what they do compared with what we do. A lot of things are similar but there were a few new exercises," said Gilmour. "I enjoyed the week with them but it was important to get that first win over Carolina in the final because I'd lost the three meetings. If I'd lost to her again, I could have started getting a bit of a complex about it. Now the record looks a lot better."

Beating Marin in front of her home support made it all the sweeter. "She beat me in the final of the Scottish earlier in the season so we're even on that score now," laughed Gilmour, who has also won the Czech Inter­national and the Swedish Masters this season.

The victory was all the more important for Gilmour because it was the latest demonstration of her strength of character, coming soon after her surprise early exit at the European Championships in Russia last month when she and Marin had been seeded to meet in the final. "I did have a little big of a confidence shake after the Europeans but I went on holiday after that and cleared my head a bit and was ready to play again," she said.

Gilmour's defeat there had followed a strange situation when, earlier in the same day, her first-round match had ended when her opponent withdrew injured after just a single point had been played. "Funny things happened at the ­Europeans," she said."There was a lot of hanging about even before that opening match and I was itching to play and get a feel for the hall, so it affected me when that match was called off so quickly. I would rather it happened now than at the Commonwealths [though]."

Now less than two months out from the Commonwealth Games, it was an excellent weekend in Spain for the major Scottish medal contenders as they contested three of the five finals.

There was yet another mixed doubles title for Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair - their ninth title win in the past 14 months - while Bankier and Gilmour put in their best performance to date in a women's doubles tournament since the decision was made that they would play together at the Games.

The week in Spain also allowed them all to spend some useful time with Chris Bruil, the specialist doubles coach who has been recruited from the Dutch national set-up to help Scotland's preparations for the Emirates tournament.

"We only have a certain number of games that we can play in together to try to work things out and we had a really good time working with Chris," said Gilmour."We are putting in so much hard work which is all focused towards the Commonwealth Games but we're all feeling really good about how things are going."

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