England edge out Russia in thriller
Date: 2/15/2015 1:18 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Semi-final day at the 2015 European mixed team championships were drama laden with both matches going right down to the wire in tension filled circumstances.

England started off their semi-final against Russia as clear favourites with a clear objective of a quick 3-0 win against a stuttering Russia team who have looked erratic at best this week in Leuven. The English plan quickly came unstuck after world number 6 pairing Chris & Gabby Adcock lost out in three games to Ivan Sozonov and one of the players of the tournament Evgeniya Kosetskaya.

The Adcock’s loss heaped the pressure on ‘Mr England’ Rajiv Ouseph and the 8 time English national champion had to call on all his experience and guile to finally see of the challenge of Vladimir Malkov in three games.

“It certainly was a war of attrition out there today. I felt pretty tired in that third game but just called on all my reserves of strength to get me through” said Ouseph.

The hardest working English woman of the week, Fontaine Chapman followed suit in the only one sided tie of the match to easily dispose of Polikarpova in two games, a player that the English number 1 has struggled against in the past.

“I had a tactic against her today and I knew I had to stick to it as she has caused me problems in the past.” Said Chapman. “Rajiv’s win really got us back on track and I knew I needed to deliver and give us the edge going into the men’s and women’s doubles.”

The Russians bounced back to take the men’s doubles thanks to European champions Ivanov and Sozonov which brought the destination of the match down to the final ladies doubles.

Team England made the inspired decision to pair Gabby Adcock alongside her former women’s doubles partner Lauren Smith in the final match and the English pair managed to come home in three games against Bolotova and Kosetskaya.

“I really enjoyed being on the doubles court again. I needed to get back out and make up from my terrible performance in the mixed doubles and to get the winning point alongside my former partner Lauren was special” said Adcock.

Germany curve ball unsettled but did not break Denmark

When the team selections were released for the second semi-final the make-up of the Germany team was the main topic for conversation.

The omission of Birgit Michels and the partnering of Michael Fuchs with Max Schwenger at men’s doubles was a complete surprise. But surprise is what Germany needed to do to try and keep Denmark guessing and the plan worked right up to the final women’s doubles after the German’s lost the mixed and men’s singles but managed to win points at women’s singles and the inspirational men’s doubles.

The Danes however had too much in reserve with Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl waiting to be called on if needed and the Danish world number two pairing were quick to deliver the decisive point Denmark need in what was a repeat of the 2013 final from Russia.

Pedersen and Juhl were easy winners 21-15 21-9 over Nelte and Goliszewski to send Denmark to yet another final in a competition that Juhl and Pedersen feel they have some unfinished business.

“2013 was a hard defeat to take for us so to beat Germany in the semi-final was very important for the team as a whole. We want very much to win this title back and we know we will be favourites against England but like Germany we expect a tough battle from a very good and motivated England team” said Pedersen.

The final of the 2015 European Mixed Team Championships take place at 2pm (local time) and can be watched LIVE and for free on Badminton Europe’s steaming channel by clicking HERE (some geo blocking may occur in selective regions)

For results and scores from Semi-final day in Leuven click HERE

Article by Mark Phelan (live in Leuven for Badminton Europe).

© All rights reserved.

Related news
Zilberman tops Group E
Misha Zilberman is through to ...

Women’s Doubles – the open category
Multiple pairs are in the run ...

Krausz and Heino secure their spot
Gergley Krausz and Eetu Hein...

Danish Duo ready to fight
Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup ...

Chance missed for Nguyen
Nhat Nguyen missed a chance t...

The Dutch peak on Day 2
Robin Tabeling and Selena Pi...

More news