Popov showing no signs of discomfort during first round victory
Popov optimistic after injury scare
Date: 11/26/2017 6:20 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
Christo Popov made his eagerly awaited reappearance at the European U17 individual championships today after suffering a minor injury scare in the group stage of the team event. The French men’s singles top seed had an opportunity to shake off come cobwebs in the men’s doubles before taking to the court in his opening round of singles.

“It was nice to get the chance to test the ankle in the men’s doubles and it felt good to get out on court again after being away for a few days” 

Popov could have hardly asked for a better opening singles round as Romanian Piotr Cunev rarely tested Popov’s fitness and the Frenchman was afforded the luxury of easing himself into the singles tournament. 

“This match was good as the foot began to feel better as I got into the match. Of course it was on my mind early in the game and my movement was not exactly perfect but my confidence became better as the match went on.” 

The big test of the Frenchman’s fitness will come tomorrow where he will now play one of the Danish heroes of the team event Nicolaj Wolf. The Dane came through a tight three set battle beating Sweden’s Joel Hansson and Wolf will bring his all energy game to the Frenchman tomorrow.

“My game will have to rise a few more levels tomorrow against Nicolaj for sure. He is a very good player and plays at a very high pace. Only time will tell if my game is ready for the challenge. But I am ready for that fight and for sure I look forward to a good battle.” 

It proved to be a better day today for Denmark’s Christine Busch after the Dane came unstuck yesterday in their mixed doubles first round. Busch regrouped today to partner Amalie Schultz to doubles success.

However Rasmus Espersen, Busch's mixed doubles partner, has had an individual tournament to forget. After loosing in the biggest upset of day 1 yesterday Espersen and partner Sebastian Gronbjerg went down in three games to French pair Courbon and Ramanana-Rahary to end the fancied Danish players participation in the competition on day 2. 

There were also some good performances from some on the minnow countries of European badminton who this week have proven they are closing the gap to the mid division countries. Faroe Islands have impressed with their women’s doubles pair of Alma Pedersen and Sissel Thomsen (pictured above) pushing Dutch pair Kuiper and Versteeg to their limit in round one of the women’s doubles.

Cyprus and Moldova have also contributed improving performances proving that they are no longer the whipping boys and girls of European badminton as they close the gap to the countries just above them. 

For a photo gallery from today’s play in Prague click HERE

For all results from day two of #EU17C17 individual event click HERE

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