Malvika Bansod ended the Indian campaign at the 2023 Hylo Open Super 300 in Saarbrucken, Germany as she went down in straight games to Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland in the women’s singles quarter-final on Friday.
Bansod was the only Indian shuttler left in the tournament on Friday after Aakarshi Kashyap, the women’s doubles pairs of Tanisha Crasto/Ashwini Ponnappa and Rutaparna and Swetaparna Panda along with Kiran George and Sankar Muthuswamy all crashed out in the opening round of the tournament.
The other Indian challenger, Mithun Manjunath won his opening round match 21-16, 21-8 against Italian Fabio Caponio. But Manjunath then went down 13-21, 17-21 to second seed Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong.
Bansod got a walkover in her opening round match with Lianne Tan of Belgium retiring before the Round of 32 match began. In her Round of 16 match, the Indian faced Juliana Viana Vieira of Brazil and beat her 22-20, 21-10 to progress to the next round.
It was a difficult start for Bansod as Gilmour went on a 10-point winning streak in the opening game and maintained that lead going into the mid-game interval at 11-2. Bansod managed to collect a few points herself at 4-16 and won four consecutive points to bring the scoreline to 8-16. But the Scot proved too strong for her and closed out the game by winning five consecutive points.
The Indian learned her lessons from the first game and began the second game in a closer fashion with both players exchanging the lead. Bansod held a slim lead at 6-3 but Gilmour recovered to level the score. Bansod then went on a four-point winning streak to extend her lead to 9-6 and continued to keep a small gap of at least two points between the two players.
After the mid-game interval, Gilmour got back into the game and levelled the scoreline at 12-all and then began to push the Indian, never letting Bansod establish a lead again. At 13-all, Bansod managed to win one more point before Gilmour won six consecutive points and sealed a straight-game win of 21-8, 21-14.